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Police Say Ahmadis Wanted Banten Raid to Happen, Name 14 Suspects
Farouk Arnaz | March 06, 2011
Recent violence targeting the Ahmadiyah community in the Cikeusik subdistrict of Banten only erupted because the Ahmadis wanted it to happen, the National Police’s chief of detectives Comr. Gen. Ito Sumardi said on Thursday.
The Feb. 6 attack saw some 1,500 people attack Ahmadiyah members who had refused to leave the house of a local leader of the sect in Umbulan village. Three Ahmadis were killed.
“I would like to quote one Ahmadi [we questioned] as saying he did physical exercises every day. The Ahmadis were also equipped with spears, slingshots, machetes and two sacks of stones,” Ito said. He then said the Ahmadis wanted the clash to happen.
“According to the theories of victimology, this clash did not merely occur because of insufficient numbers of police personnel dispatched to the site. It happened because the victims wanted the clash to take place.”
Ito added that a total of 14 suspects have so far been named in the case, including 12 from among the attacking mob.
“We are still hunting for one of the suspects, Abrori. He was from Gadod in Pandeglang district. He assaulted the victims until they died,” he said.
Ito also said a police officer and one Ahmadi had been named suspects. He refused to identify the police officer, but he said the Ahmadi suspect was named Deden Sudjana, a man who led 16 others in safeguarding the home that was attacked.
This is not the first time Deden is declared a suspect, but police backtracked on Feb. 18 on the earlier decision to name Deden a suspect for his presumed role in the violence.
Deden was allegedly seen in a video of the attack circulating on the Internet, asking a police officer to let the assault take place as 1,500 people descend on the house in Umbulan.
“Deden has been accused of provocation, beating, throwing [objects] and possession a sharp weapon. He is also guilty of disobeying police orders at the scene. His incitement triggered the clash, when he said that if police cannot control the masses, [they should] let the assault take place,” Ito told reporters.
He confirmed that a police officer had been charged in the case for violating the police’s code of ethical conduct, as well as Article 359 on negligence resulting in the death of a human being.
A police source separately identified the suspect as Chief. Brig. T.B. Ade Sumardi, the leader of the Sabhara division at the Cikeusik Police, charged with protection, patrol and anti-riot duties. The source said Ade was at the scene but failed to prevent the incident from happening.