Nangkernang village in Sampang regency, East Java: (kompas.com)A watchdog group accuses Shiite attackers have close ties to local leaders and police officials, creating resistance among authorities to reveal the masterminds of the Sunday attack in Sampang, East Java.
The Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) indicated six masterminds on the assault, most of whom are local figures who have ties with officials of the East Java Police, the Sampang Police and local administrations. None of them have been probed by police.
“It is impossible to create such huge attack without people’s mobilization, coordination, and fund supports,” HRWG deputy director Choirul Anam told The Jakarta Post Digital.
Eight detained perpetrators, he said, were only executors.
“Authorities may repeat mistakes they made in December, where they jailed only one perpetrator for less than three months,” he said, referring to the first attack on a Shiite compound in Sampang.
The human rights watchdog demanded the government to dismiss East Java Police chief and Sampang Police chief, and to let the National Police to handle the case, to ensure the investigation’s independency.
Moreover, Choirul doubted a remark made by Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali, in which he blamed a family feud as the trigger of the deadly melee.
The attack, the minister said, was the outgrowth of sibling rivalry between incarcerated Shia leader Tajul Muluk and Roisul “Rois” Hukuma, a Sunni follower who has been named as a suspect.
“Ustad [cleric] Rois is only a perpetrator. We believe there are parties who back his action,” he added.
Another watchdog group, Amnesty International, is skeptical that authorities can solve the Sunday attack given its failure to adequately deal with first assault against Shiites in December.
“[The failure] raises serious questions about its willingness to ensure that the suspected perpetrators of the Sampang attack are brought to justice, to provide the victims with reparations, and to prevent further attacks on minority groups,” Amnesty International stated in a release obtained by the Post on Wednesday. (yps/iwa)