Police vs. FPI incident ends in six deaths: Who started it?

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IO – The incident of a conflict between members of the infamous hardline religious group, the Islamic Defenders’ Front (Front Pembela Islam – “FPI”) and members of the Police at KM 50 of the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road on early Monday (07/12/2020) morning resulted in six fatalities. Both the Police and FPI claimed to be defending themselves and each said they had been attacked first. 

What actually happened? 

The Chief of the Metro Jaya Regional Police, Inspector General Fadil Imran, stated that the police received information through WhatsApp that a mob is being gathered to attend the questioning of one Rizieq Shihab at the Metro Jaya Regional Precinct. There is a plan to question Rizieq as a witness in the health protocol violation case of crowds gathering in Petamburan, Central Jakarta, on 14 November 2020. This was to be the second summons for Rizieq and his son-in-law after they have failed to comply to the Police’s summons last Tuesday (01/12/2020). The Police then investigated the report by following a car that is suspected to be carrying Rizieq’s sympathizers. However, the police vehicle was suddenly attacked by 10 of these sympathizers using both sharp weapons and firearms. Therefore, the Police officers defended themselves and fired back, killing 6, while the remaining 4 escaped. 

FPI Secretary Munarman denied that Rizieq Shihab’s guard force attacked the Police first. He claimed that FPI members do not bear firearms, and that the 6 personal guards of Rizieq were missing, presumably kidnapped. He declared his surprise that the Chief of Metro Jaya Regional Police stated that 6 Rizieq sympathizers were shot to death because they attacked the Police. “If a shootout occurred and deaths were caused, the crime scene would have been crowded and taking the dead away would have taken time. If the shootout occurred from the start, that means that the people died on site. That means that there should have been many of them. I have been checking all night until 3 a.m. this morning with my colleagues on site. There were no corpses there, no crowds,” he said. 

Dwimawan Heru, Corporate Communication and Community Development Group Head of Jasa Marga, the State-Owned Enterprise in charge of toll roads, claimed no knowledge whatsoever about the shootout at the Jakarta-Cikampek Toll road. He also states that the incident cannot be verified through existing toll CCTV records, because the CCTV cameras around the scene, to be exact the row of cameras located on the West Karawang to Cikampek route, were under service due to damaged fiber optic lines. (dan)