Police interrogate 15 Papuan youngsters in Mimika

Police interrogate 15 Papuan youngsters in Mimika

Mimika Police Chief Adjunct Sen. Coms Agung Marlianto (ANTARA News Papua/Evarianus Supar)

We do not restrict every individual's democratic rights, but we consider a security situation wherein a massive gathering may potentially trigger an act of anarchism because of an irresponsible party's provocation.
Timika, Papua (ANTARA) - Some 15 young Papuans were questioned by Mimika police investigators for allegedly holding a traditional stone-burning ritual to welcome local students, who had left their universities outside Papua and West Papua following the Surabaya incident.

Police investigators will conclude their investigation and arrive at a decision on the provocateurs and masterminds behind the event held on Thursday at a building in the Timika Indah area, Mimika Police Chief Adjunct Sen. Coms Agung Marlianto stated on Saturday.

"We are conducting further probe into individuals believed to be the provocateurs and masterminds of this event, while those whom the police investigators conclude as innocent will be allowed to go home," he noted.

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Since the start, the police did not issue a permit for the event organizer to hold this traditional stone-burning ritual to welcome the returnees, as the event will potentially provoke the attendants to trigger a violent conflict as in the August 21 rally.

Marlianto further denied allegations that the dismissal of the "stone-burning" event, for what the event organizer claimed was to welcome the return of local students joining the exodus of native Papuan students, had been a sheer murder of democracy.

"We do not restrict every individual's democratic rights, but we consider a security situation wherein a massive gathering may potentially trigger an act of anarchism due to provocation by an irresponsible party," he stated.

Taking this assessment into account, the police forcibly dismissed the event, he noted, adding that third parties, including the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), with vested interests, may have played a role in the event.

"We observe that several figures of KNPB play a role in the event," he noted.

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In August, a spate of violence broke out in several parts of Papua and West Papua in the upshot of the Surabaya incident that had triggered public ire among native Papuans.

Native Papuans in several parts of the provinces of Papua and West Papua held demonstrations protesting alleged racist slurs against the Papuan students in Surabaya on August 16.

On August 29, the indigenous Papuan residents of Jayapura had again staged protests, venting their fury over the alleged racist slurs against their Papuan compatriots in Surabaya, but their rally then turned violent.

The brutal demonstrators went on a rampage, vandalizing and setting ablaze several government buildings. The office of Antara, Indonesia's national news agency, in the city was also intentionally damaged by the demonstrators.
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EDITED BY INE

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