Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - The Indonesian police in Jayawijaya, Papua, arrested a village head, identified by his initials as YA, 45, for allegedly masterminding the recent Wamena rioting that claimed 33 innocent civilian lives, a police spokesman stated.

"YA has been named a suspect in connection with the Wamena rioting case in which the lives of 33 innocent civilians were lost," spokesman of the Papua Police Headquarters Sen. Coms. Ahmad Kamal told ANTARA in Jayapura, the capital city of Papua Province, on Friday evening.

The suspect, declared as a wanted fugitive in the aftermath of the Wamena rioting that erupted on Sept 23, was captured by a join team of police and military personnel in Ninabua Village on early Friday.

According to Kamal, YA again attempted to evade arrest when the policemen were about to close in on him. The local police investigators continue to chase three more suspected rioters, who remain on the run.

The three fugitives are only identified by their initials as HW (22), BA (21), and PW (21), he stated.

The police investigators confiscated a piece of clothing and fake hair that YA had worn while leading groups of rioters vandalizing and burning properties as well as killing innocent civilians in Wamena, the capital city of Jayawijaya District, on Sept 23.

YA is charged with violating Article 160 of the Criminal Code under which he faces six years' imprisonment if found guilty by the local court's panel of judges.

The Wamena rioting has caused misery to scores of Indonesians. The incident not only resulted in the killing of 33 innocent civilians but it also left several thousand survivors with no option but to take refuge by abandoning their burned and destroyed properties.

Several survivors, initially from provinces, including West Sumatra, South Sulawesi, East Java, and Banten, have also returned to their hometowns.

The rioting was fueled by the spread of hoaxes through social media platforms that infuriated its residents, Papua Police Chief Inspector General Rudolf A. Rodja stated.

Several local media reports corroborated Rodja's claim that the riot was spurred by hoaxes concerning a teacher's racist slur against native Papuan students. Related news: Police puts Wamena riot death toll at 23
Related news: Indonesian police examine link between violence in Wamena and Jayapura


Translator: Evarukdijati, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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