President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono: (JP/Jerry Adiguna)
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono unexpectedly summoned some of his Cabinet members to his office on Monday in connection with the melee in Sampang, East Java, which killed two Shiites.
Among the cabinet members were National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo, Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Adm. Agus Suhartono, Attorney General Basrief Arief, Law and Human Rights Minister Amir Syamsuddin, and Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi.
"This morning, I want to hear your reports so the government can decide what measures should be taken in connection with the violence and unlawful acts in Sampang. This incident is the second in the last two years," Yudhoyono told members, before continuing the meeting behind closed doors.
"I have also received reports from the governor of East Java. I hope there will be quick and decisive measures taken by you and your subordinates so that we can prevent this kind of incident from happening again, particularly in the same location," Yudhoyono added.
Two Shia Muslims were killed, and at least seven others wounded in a melee involving Shia community members and an anti-Shia group in Sampang, on Sunday.
Kulsum, the wife of incarcerated Shia leader Tajul Muluk, told The Jakarta Post that one Shia follower, identified as Hamamah, 39, was stabbed to death. According to human rights activists' reports from the scene, another man, identified as Tohir, was also killed.
According to Kulsum, at least 10 homes were set ablaze by the anti-Shia group.
“I don’t know the whereabouts of the other members. There were around 500 of us. We were chased, so we ran for our lives,” Kulsum said during a telephone interview.
Kulsum’s husband, Tajul, was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for blasphemy against Islam by the Sampang District Court on July 12, 2012.
Tajul, whose house and pesantren (boarding school) were burned down by an angry mob in December last year, was accused of preaching to his followers that the Koran was not the original scripture, and the true version of the Holy Book will only be revealed to Imam Mahdi. (lfr)