The Jakarta Post
West Java Police have investigated a caretaker at Al Istiqomah Mosque in Pamengpeuk district in Garut regency, West Java, who pretended to be the victim of abuse, with fake news of the supposed attack going viral on social media.
Amid a spate of recent reports of attacks toward religious figures, West Java Police investigated the news spread on Wednesday morning, which depicted the caretaker, Uyu Ruhyana, lying down with a message that indicated he had been assaulted by five unknown people.
“After we questioned the victim and investigated the scene, the victim admitted the incident was engineered by himself,” West Java Police’s general crimes investigation director Sr. Comr. Umar Surya Fana said in Bandung on Wednesday.
Uyu allegedly made up the abuse so he could get a raise from mosque's management.
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“He wanted more financial support as his salary is Rp 125,000 [US$9.1] per month. We are still investigating to see if there were other motives or if there was another actor behind it,” Umar said.
The hoax detailed that Uyu had been attacked by five unknown assailants causing him to suffer bruises on his head, hands and legs. According to the hoax, the attackers also reportedly covered his mouth and tied his hands to the back of his head and attacked him with a cleaver. The report also mentioned that he was beaten with a chair and stomped on by the attackers in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Witnesses Agus and Dedeh, who conducted the Morning Prayer at the mosque, found Uyu in a tied position inside the mosque and took him to a local community health center.
“After a thorough examination, no wounds were found on his body. At the time of the incident, Pameungpeuk Police personnel were also on patrol in the area and did not hear any noise or see anyone at the mosque,” Umar said.
There have been many cases of fake news claiming similar attacks. There have, however, been two real attacks where religious figures fell victims to perpetrators who were suspected to suffer from mental illnesses. (rin)