West Java Police Station Attacked After Police Break Up FPI Brawl

By webadmin on 12:36 pm Jul 02, 2012
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Farouk Arnaz

A police station and local office of a youth organization were allegedly vandalized by members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) on Sunday after the hard-line Islamists were attacked by youths while trying to shut down a dangdut performance in Ciawi, Tasikmalaya, West Java, police said.

A brawl broke out between members of the FPI and the local Karang Taruna youth organization Saturday night. The Islamist organization — known for conducting violent raids on events deemed immoral — tried to shut down a dangdut concert, but were met with resistance from members of the local youth organization. The youths reportedly beat three members of the FPI after the failed raid.

Local police, stationed in a subdistrict office next door, arrested those involved in the brawl, West Java Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Martinus Sitompul said.

The FPI then allegedly turned on the police and busted the windows out of the police station, Martinus said.

“There was this brawl between the FPI and a members of the local Karang Taruna,” he said. “We arrested those involved in the brawl, but the FPI were not satisfied and pelted the subdistrict police station with stones.”

The police spokesman was unable to say whether officers made further arrests after the attack.

The FPI’s spokesman denied the report, saying that “thugs” burned the motorcycles of five FPI members.

“There was no attack on the police station,” Munarman  said in a text message. “What did take place is that five motorcycles belonging to our men were torched by thugs backed by the local police. Up to now, one of my men is still missing.”

Munarman did not detail who the police were or why the motorcycles were attacked.

Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi previously threatened to ban the FPI if the organization attacked another public institution after the hard-liners pelted the Home Affairs Ministry with stones.

“I told Habib [Rizieq] ‘it has happened twice. If it happens for the third time, I’m going to dismiss your organization.’” Gamawan said.

But the minister said that Sunday’s alleged incident was too local to prompt action from the ministry.

“I haven’t head about the attack in Ciawi, but if the local FPI did that, the governor and district head should do something about them,” Gamawan said. “I have sent letters to al governors in Indonesia as well as the district heads and mayors on this matter.

“If it happens at the central level, then it is my authority.”