"Performing a prayer is allowed, but we warn them to not stage a long march," Indonesian Police Chief General Tito Karnavian said.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian Police Chief General Tito Karnavian urged Muslims joining the "112" mass prayer rally organized by the Muslim Peoples Forum (FUI) at the Istiqlal Grand Mosque, Central Jakarta, Saturday, to not stage a long march.

"Performing a prayer is allowed, but we warn them to not stage a long march," he informed journalists here on Friday in response to a question on the mass prayer that will take place on Saturday (Feb 11).

The religious event, to be marked by a prayer and Quran recitation, might also be attended by members of the Muslim community coming from outside the capital city, but they are bound to follow an agreement that the police and FUI representatives had reached, he stated.

The FUI representatives had agreed that the convening of a mass prayer, aimed at securing the trial process of non-active Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama for allegedly insulting Islam, was centered inside the grand mosque, he noted.

To secure the mass prayer rallies to be organized on February 11, 12, and 15, the Jakarta metropolitan police will deploy 23,450 personnel. The police will also be assisted by 4,700 personnel from the Jakarta regional military command.

Meanwhile, during his meeting with Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto, the Islamic Defenders Front leader Habib Rizieq Shihab has confirmed that the 112 mass prayer rally will entirely be centered at the Istiqlal Grand Mosque.

Shihab remarked that the long march from the National Monument Square to the Hotel Indonesia Roundabout in Central Jakarta, as earlier planned by the organizing committee, had been postponed.

The Saturday mass prayer will take place four days before the simultaneous regional elections are held.

Purnama will compete with Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, the son of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and Anis Baswedan, former education minister, in the Jakarta regional election scheduled on Feb 15.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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