Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The House of Representatives (DPR) urged the military and police to hunt down the murderers who killed 31 company workers at a bridge construction site, Trans-Papua highway project, Papua Province, on Monday.

"I condemn the murder of workers in Papua by members of Armed Criminal Croup (KKB). I urge the security officers to resolve the barbaric act and arrest the perpetrators soon," House Speaker Bambang Soesatyo said here on Tuesday.

Commission I of the House will ask the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) commander to explain the incident. "Surely, the Commission I will ask the TNI commander and the Indonesian Police chief to explain the steps they are taking to follow up with the murder and to arrest the perpetrators," Soesatyo stressed.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) ordered the TNI commander and the National Police chief to check the latest conditions in Nduga, Papua Province, after the shooting incident.

Jokowi instructed TNI Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto and the National Police Head General Tito Karnavian, after it was reported that the KKB on Sunday kidnapped 31 PT Istaka Karya workers and killed them.

"The incident occurred in Nduga District, a region which was given a red mark. I had visited it once. This morning, I ordered the TNI commander and the National Police chief to check the conditions there, because the (information) about it is still confusing," Jokowi noted, when opening the World Anti-Corruption Day (Hakordia) 2018 event in Jakarta, on Tuesday.

"Since there is no signal there, it is important to check whether the conditions of the incident are same as those mentioned in the report. We realize that even though the development in Papua is indeed very difficult to carry out and can still be hampered by incidents such as the reported one, the development in Papua should continue," the president added.

In the meantime, President Director of PT Istaka Karya Sigit Winarto confirmed that 28 workers had become victims of the Armed Criminal Group kidnapping in Papua, but they are yet to be evacuated from the site.

Hence, the company will focus on evacuating the victims. It was earlier reported that 31 workers of the company were killed in the attack. However, Winarto remarked that the company, so far, confirmed that 28 workers had become victims.

"We are still coordinating to know the real number. We have not been able to ascertain the number of victims," Winarto remarked during a press conference at the Ministry of Public Works and Housing.

Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono expressed regret for the murder of the workers in the fifth segment of the Trans Papua construction site, as the government is focusing on improving connectivity in Indonesia`s easternmost province.

"I am waiting for information from the local military commander. I will go down there. Right now, we cannot as yet confirm the number of the victims -- whether 24 or 31 people -- since it is yet to be checked and confirmed," he revealed.

According to Winarto, every work related to the Trans Papua Section project was always coordinated with the help of security forces. "We raise awareness and undertake internal security mechanisms. We also collaborate with the local workers and administrators," Winarto noted.

Winarto admitted that most workers came from Sulawesi. However, the identity of the victims will be reported after the completion of the evacuation process, and they will be rushed to Wamena.

However, Maritime Affairs Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan expressed doubts whether the workers were guarded by the military.

"I do not know whether there were military personnel or not. When I look at the incident, it seems that there was no one there. If there were personnel, it should not have happened," the minister remarked, after giving a speech at the National Seminar on "Innovation-Based Development in Industrial Era 4.0."

He condemned the murder as a sinister act. "This is proof that there are still people who want to kill people involved in development. This is an unscrupulous act," Pandjaitan stated in Jakarta on Tuesday.

However, he acknowledged that he had not yet received the complete information on the incident which befell the PT Istaka Karya workers. He did not know whether the workers were guarded by TNI personnel.

He noted that the government would not go backward no matter whatever (terror attacks) happen to hamper the efforts to carry out development.

It was reported that on Dec 1, 2018, the armed separatist group celebrated the OPM Free Papua Movement (OPM) anniversary in Yigi Sub-district. One of the employees took a picture of the event that angered the KKB.

Therefore, the KKB kidnapped 31 PT Istaka Karya workers. Eight of them escaped to the house of a Papua Provincial legislator. But the armed group knew about it and picked them again from the legislator`s house.

On Dec 2, 2018, at around 02.00 local time, two cars, allegedly carrying hostages, came into PT Istaka Karya Camp. Each of the cars was believed to be carrying 15 project workers from PT Istaka Karya.

Then, it was reported on Dec 3, 2018, that most of hostage workers were shot in Kali Yigi and Kali Aurak, the locations of the construction of a bridge in Trans Papua project.

Two military and police joint teams have been deployed to look for the members who executed the workers.

It was reported that on Dec 2, 2018, 31 workers from PT Istaka Karya, who were engaged in construction and building the Trans Papua project, were killed by the KKB in Kali Yigi and Kali Aurak in Yigi Sub-District, Nduga District, Papua.

Editing by Rahmad Nasution

Reporter: Andi Abdussalam
Editor: Heru Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2018