The precautionary measure was taken to handle traffic congestion to the airport on the day that Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Habib Rizieq Shihab arrived after an over three-year self-imposed exile in Saudi Arabia.
Thousands of this influential ulema's loyalists and sympathizers flocked to the airport's complex area and an access road section to it on Tuesday to greet his return for good to his residence in the Petamburan III neighborhood, Central Jakarta.
Acting Senior Manager of the Soekarno Hatta International Airport's Branch and Communication Haerul Anwar remarked that the airport authority had coordinated with airlines and other related aviation authorities in connection with this situation.
Airlines, including Lion Air, Batik Air, Garuda Indonesia, and Citilink, had allowed rescheduling or refund for their passengers to enable them to fly at another time, he stated.
In dealing with disruption in the flow of traffic around the airport’s neighborhood areas, the local police have conducted traffic engineering.
Sulaiman, a Bandung city's resident, spoke of having joined the crowds of Habib Rizieq Shihab's sympathizers flocking to the airport since Tuesday morning.
Shihab returned to Indonesia along with his family members aboard a Saudi flight.
Speaking in connection with his return for good, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD emphasized that it was a right that should be protected since, as an Indonesian citizen, Shihab had legal rights and duties akin to other fellow citizens.
"Like in the past, while leaving Indonesia, we gave him his rights to leave. It was not our demand that he departed the country. Now, when he returns, we also give him his rights to get back home," Mahfud MD stated at his office on Monday.
The Indonesian government noted that his return to the country is aimed at carrying out an "Akhlaq Revolution" that Mahfud MD believes will usher in goodness for the nation and state.
Owing to the noble purpose of this revolution of "akhlaq", a word that is "most commonly translated as disposition, nature, temper, ethics, morals, or manners (of a person)", crowds thronging to greet Shihab must do so in an orderly and peaceful manner, he stated.
"Please pick him up, but please do it in an orderly, harmonious, and peaceful manner as Habib Rizieq Shihab often advices," Mahfud MD stated, adding that if there were individuals, who instigated riots, they would definitely not be Shihab's loyalists.
Shihab's followers always conduct themselves in an orderly and peaceful manner, he added. Related news: Habib Rizieq's return is a right deserving protection: Mahfud MD
Related news: FPI, Rizieq do not endanger Indonesia's unity, integrity: analyst
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