An-Nasir: (Tempo/Prima Mulia)
Bandung Police have arrested M. Asep Abdurahman, aka Utep, an Islam Defenders Front (FPI) member, and named him a suspect of Thursday night’s attack on the Ahmadiyah An-Nasir mosque.
“We arrested Utep and named him a suspect on Saturday night,” said Bandung Police chief detective Adj. Sr. Comr. Widjonarko on Sunday.
Widjonarko said the police had questioned five witnesses and seized evidence at the scene before naming Utep a suspect. “The number of suspects will likely increase as we are still collecting more evidence. For now, Utep is the sole suspect,” he said.
According to police, Utep could be charged under Article 170 of the Criminal Code on assault, as well as Article 406 on the destruction of private property and Article 335 on disorderly conduct.
On Thursday, one night before Idul Adha (Islamic Day of Sacrifice), members of vigilante group FPI raided An-Nasir mosque, damaging the place of worship and prohibiting Ahmadis from celebrating Idul Adha.
The FPI members took three Ahmadis to the Astana Anyar Police precinct and tried to force them to sign an agreement not to hold Idul Adha prayers or slaughter sacrificial animals on Friday. The Ahmadis’ rejection of the agreement reportedly enraged Utep.
“I was angry. I went to the mosque and smashed its windows. My rage was triggered by the Ahmadis’ reaction,” said Utep. He added that breaking the mosque’s windows was a spontaneous act.
FPI members insisted that the Ahmadis uphold Gubernatorial Regulation No. 12/mosque, which bans Ahmadis from conducting public activities.
The police released the three Ahmadis on Friday morning and guarded the mosque, which is used by hundreds of Ahmadis. The police also canceled Idul Adha prayers and the slaughter of sacrificial animals at the mosque. (lfr)