We are still  investigating (the possibility of) ISIS being involved in the riots
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Police's Counterterrorism Squad, Densus 88, is probing a likely involvement of the Islamic state (ISIS) group in a string of riots in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua. "We continue to investigate (the possibility of) the ISIS being involved in the riots," Chief of the Public Relations Bureau of the National Police Brigadier General Dedi Prasetyo stated at the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta on Friday.

The police are working all-out to unearth the masterminds behind the riots, he stated.

"Obviously, we are focusing on revealing the masterminds behind the riots and adopting preventive measures," he noted.

A string of violent rallies broke out in several parts of Papua and West Papua as an upshot of the alleged racist slurs against Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, on August 16.

In the West Papua provincial capital of Manokwari, a rally against the alleged racist slurs took a violent turn on August 19, with some protesters setting ablaze a local parliamentary building and tires in several parts of the city.

A violent demonstration again erupted in the Papua provincial capital of Jayapura on August 29. The brutal demonstrators went on a rampage, vandalizing and setting ablaze several government buildings.

The police have alleged that Papuan separatist figure Benny Wenda had masterminded the riots. He is believed to have disseminated hoaxes and attempted to provoke on social media the leaders of states in the Pacific region.

However, the police cannot take legal measures against Wenda, as he is no longer an Indonesian citizen.

The police have named 57 suspects in anarchist violence in Papua and 21 suspects in riots in West Papua.

Translator: Anita Permata Dewi/Suharto
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
Copyright © ANTARA 2019