Pontianak, W Kalimantan (ANTARA) - The West Kalimantan Police arrested 52 suspects in land and forest fire cases in the province, West Kalimantan Police Chief Insp. Gen. Didi Haryono stated.

"A total of 52 suspects were arrested in 44 cases comprising 43 individual cases and one involving a corporation," Haryono stated here on Tuesday.

He affirmed that the police will adopt stringent legal measures against those involved in land and forest fires.

The Environment and Forestry Ministry has revoked the licenses of 10 plantation and industrial forestry companies where some hotspots were found.

On several instances, West Kalimantan Governor Sutarmidji has warned of suspension of permits of plantation or industrial forestry (HTI) companies found to intentionally burn their land concession areas or allowed it to occur on their land, thereby harming the environment.

"I will take stern measures against plantation and HTI companies whose concession lands are still on fire. We will suspend the permit, and the land could not be used for five years," he noted.

He also cautioned of revoking the licenses if companies were proven to have deliberately burned land or allowed the fire to ravage the area.

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry had earlier confirmed of having investigated 24 firms in connection with their alleged involvement in land and forest fires in certain areas in Indonesia, of which 14 are based in West Kalimantan.

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Translator: Andilala, Sri Haryati
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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