During a press conference at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta early this week, President Joko Widodo expressed grief over Nugraha's death, and extended his deepest condolences to his family. Nugraha was the head of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) in Papua.
The state also conferred Nugraha a posthumous promotion to one rank higher than he held at the time of his death, in recognition of his dedication, service, and sacrifice for the nation.
Following Nugraha's fatal shooting, President Widodo also ordered the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police to hunt down and arrest all members of armed separatist and terrorist groups in Papua, saying there is no place for them within Indonesian territory, including Papua.
Nugraha's death also prompted the BIN to apply the term "armed separatist and terrorist group" for those who killed its top agent and many innocent civilians.
The term was first used by BIN's deputy VII, Wawan Hari Purwanto, in a press statement circulated to ANTARA and several other media outlets early this week.
Purwanto bluntly called the killers of the fallen agent as well as unarmed and innocent civilians in Papua "armed separatist and terrorists" instead of "armed criminals", as they are frequently referred to by both the TNI and police.
Calling the notorious armed Papuan rebels, who have repeatedly launched acts of deadly violence and terror, "separatist terrorists" is arguably appropriate.
The term "separatist terrorists", or "nationalist terrorists”, is used to describe armed rebels who "use acts of terror to force the creation of a new state" (Encyclopedia.com, 2021).
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Over the past four months, Papua has borne the brunt of a string of violent attacks by armed separatists targeting civilians in districts such as Puncak and Intan Jaya.
The armed groups often employ hit-and-run tactics against Indonesian security personnel, and unleash acts of terror against civilians to instill fear among the people.
The recent victims of such acts of terror have included motorcycle taxi (ojek) drivers, teachers, students, and street food vendors. The separatists have not even spared civilian aircraft.
On January 6, 2021, at least 10 armed separatists vandalized and torched a Quest Kodiak aircraft belonging to Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) on the Pagamba village airstrip.
They continued their campaign of terror by shooting a 32-year-old man at close range in Bilogai village, Sugapa sub-district, on February 8, 2021.
The victim, identified by his initials as RNR, sustained gunshot wounds on the face and right shoulder and was taken to the Timika Public Hospital in Mimika District on February 9.
In a separate incident on February 9, six armed Papuans fatally stabbed a motorcycle taxi (ojek) driver.
On April 8, 2021, several armed Papuan rebels opened fire at a kiosk in Julukoma village, Beoga sub-district, Puncak district.
The shooting resulted in the death of a Beoga public elementary school teacher, identified as Oktovianus Rayo.
After killing Rayo, the armed attackers torched three classrooms at the Beoga public senior high school.
On April 9, 2021, armed separatists reportedly shot another teacher, Yonatan Randen, on the chest.
Several villagers tried to save the junior high school teacher and rushed him to the Beoga public health center, but he succumbed to his injuries.
Two days later, armed rebels set ablaze nine classrooms at the Beoga public junior high school.
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And four days after burning the school building down, they killed Ali Mom, a student of the Ilaga public senior high school in Beoga sub-district.
Elminus Mom, the father of the slain senior high school student, vociferously castigated the armed separatists and labelled them as terrorists over the fatal assault on his son, who was shot and attacked with machetes.
Elminus demanded that those behind the killing of his son be brought to book, saying they had, in fact, committed a crime against humanity.
He called them terrorists owing to their inhuman actions against innocent civilians in Papua.
"For what and whom they struggle? Is it for freedom or for making innocent civilians fall victim?" he asked.
On April 25, Papuan separatists operating in Beoga sub-district ambushed BIN head Nugraha in Papua while he was visiting Dambet village.
Nugraha, who was accompanied by seven security personnel, was shot in a gunfight with the armed rebels.
His death will never make intelligence officers and security personnel back down from fighting the armed separatist and terrorist groups in the province, Wawan Hari Purwanto asserted.
"This incident will not deal a blow to the outlook and morale of the intelligence officers and security personnel in addressing all types of national security threats," he stressed.
The fall of the BIN-Papua Office head on duty has demonstrated the sacrifice of Indonesian intelligence officers in defending Indonesia's sovereignty, he reiterated.
"This incident has also become a symbol of BIN's services in enforcing laws as a frontliner in the national security system," he stated.
Nugraha was laid to rest at the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in South Jakarta on Tuesday (April 27, 2021), but his noble fight for defending Indonesia's sovereignty in Papua must go on.
As President Joko Widodo has instructed, the law enforcement operations against the Papuan separatist terrorists must be continued until they are crushed. By doing so, peace can finally be restored in the province, and true justice can be brought for the victims of their acts of terror. (INE)
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EDITED BY INE