The East Java Police said Tuesday that they had arrested named one man, identified only as R, in connection with the deadly sectarian violence that broke out in Sampang and would charge him under five separate articles of the Criminal Code.
R was one of eight people arrested after the incident that claimed the lives of two Shiites on Sunday. National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo previously said that R allegedly masterminded the clash.
East Java Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Hilman Thayib told reporters that police would charge R with Articles 338 on murder, 354 on assault, 170 on group assault and vandalism, and 55 and 56 on participation in a crime, kompas.com reported.
According to Hilman, the charges carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
Hilman said that the police were still conducting their investigation. “The number of suspects is likely to increase,” he said.
Apart from arresting eight people on Monday, the police also confiscated hundreds of sharp objects and several homemade bombs from the scene of the attack against Shia followers.
Two Shiites died when their compound in Madura’s Sampang regency was attacked by an anti-Shia group on Sunday. The incident was the second in less than a year, following an attack in December last year.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono blamed intelligence agencies for their failure to foresee the clash.
Institute for Defense, Security and Peace Studies (IDSPS) executive director Mufti Makaarim, however, said that the President should not blame intelligence agencies.
“The President should instead evaluate the practice of religious freedom in Indonesia,” he said. (riz)