Jakarta, IO – As many as 34 people were named as suspects in the riot that occurred during the demonstration against the relocation of 16 ancient villages at Rempang Island by the Batam Free Trade Zone and Free Port Concession Agency (BP Batam), Monday (11/9).
Riau Islands Police spokesperson Zahwani Pandra said police has detained at least 43 people believed to be instigators in the riot before naming the suspects, per CNNIndonesia, Thursday (14/9).
“This is based on information from the Barelang Police Chief who is in charge of the area, so at the time of the clash last Monday, 43 people were arrested. Of the 43, only 34 met the criteria to be named as suspects,” said Pandra.
He further revealed that of the 43 people, only five were known to be locals. The rest, according to Pandra, were only being emotional after they received misleading information from the social media.
Pandra said there was still a possibility that more perpetrators would be arrested in connection with the riots stemming from rejection by Rempang Island residents to relocate for the National Strategic Project (PSN).
“Based on reports from personnel on the ground, there are still indications that they have committed acts that violate the law. We already know their identities and we are still investigating,” explained Pandra.
A group of people previously held a demonstration in front of the BP Batam office. They demanded that seven residents who had previously been arrested and were named suspects be released. Their detentions were then suspended. (un)