The police have nabbed at least 90 people allegedly involved in a mass riot in Sumbawa Besar, West Nusa Tenggara, and will charge them with crimes pending a preliminary investigation, National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo said on Wednesday.
“Local police officers have launched an intensive investigation. Most of the nabbed suspects were allegedly involved in the destruction and burning of property. Some of them have also been accused of looting during the riot,” Timur announced at the Presidential Office.
Rioters looted dozens of minimarkets and homes as well as a hotel and a place of worship in Sumbawa Besar on Tuesday. At least 2,216 residents of Balinese descent have reportedly been displaced.
The riot was reportedly triggered by the death of Aryati, 30, who was allegedly raped and abused by her boyfriend, Brig. I Gede Eka Suarjana, a 21-year-old Sumbawa Police officer.
“It was a misperception due to the widespread distribution of a hoax text message,” Timur said, suggesting that the alleged rape never happened.
“I appeal to everybody not to be easily provoked,” he added.