Police name third suspect in Shia attack
The police have named a man only identified as M as a new suspect in the deadly attack on Shiites in Sampang, East Java, on Aug. 26.
The police had previously named two other suspects, Rois Al Hukama and Salikin.
Rois is the brother of Tajul Muluk, the incarcerated Shia leader in Sampang who was jailed for blasphemy.
“Similiar to Salikin, M is also charged under Article 170 of the Criminal Code on destruction and beatings, as well as Article 187 on arson that threats to others,” East Java police spokesman Sr. Comr. Hilman Tyahib said on Friday in Surabaya, East Java.
Salikin and M were assigned to set the houses of Shiites ablaze and managed to take burn 37 homes of Tajul Muluk's people, Hilman said. The two have been detained in the Sampang Police Precinct and will be transferred to East Java Police headquarters in Surabaya. They are facing a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison.
Rois' dossier is also complete and has been delivered to the East Java High Court for trial, he added.
Meanwhile, Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali said during his meeting with East Java governor Soekarwo that refugees of the violence refused to be moved to Sidoarjo, a neighboring city to Surabaya, around 100 kilometers away from Sampang.
“The government has been putting its finest effort into resolving the conflict, but there seems to be some parties just not wanting this problem solved. This is so regretful,” he said Friday.