Police have named a man who claimed to be a superfan of dangdut singer Via Vallen as a suspect for allegedly burning one of her cars, in what appears to be one of the strangest cases involving Indonesian celebrities and their fans.
The man, identified as 40-year-old Pije by local outlets, traveled all the way from the industrial city of Cikarang, where he lives, to Via’s home in Sidoarjo regency, East Java. Pije then allegedly set Via’s Toyota Alphard on fire at around 3.15am on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old dangdut star uploaded a CCTV recording of the incident today, writing on the caption that the car and a couple of others were parked in the alley next to her house as her garage was used for a video shoot. She claimed that she went live on Instagram during the incident so that fire fighters would come sooner, as she feared they wouldn’t take her seriously if she had directly called them instead.
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“Yesterday I was still puzzled by what happened, because there had also been a threatening message on a wall of my house, which could only be read at the part that said ‘you should all die,’” Via wrote.
Yesterday, police apprehended Pije and confiscated a bag containing a bank book and a water bottle, believed to have previously contained gasoline.
In addition to those, Sidoarjo City Police Chief Sumardji said authorities also found several alleged shamanistic items such as a yellow bamboo piece, said to have mystical powers to ward off ghosts, and a jenglot, a deformed humanoid creature in Indonesian mythology in a form of tiny human doll that’s believed to be living mummies and/or formerly human beings.
Sumardji said that Pije was hurt by Via Vallen, although indirectly.
“He went to Via Vallen’s home twice, but he didn’t meet her face to face. Someone saw him, but he admitted to having been offended because that person’s words were unpleasant to hear. Such as calling him dirty, worn out, and others. That’s what the suspect said,” Sumardji said.
“The suspect is a North Sumatra resident who lives at a rented house in Cikarang. On a daily basis, he’s working odd jobs, selling pants, t-shirts, and others. He admitted to being reckless coming all the way to Sidoarjo by hitchhiking trucks and other forms of transportation so that he could meet face to face with Via Vallen. He’s a big fan.”
Pije has been charged with arson under the criminal code (KUHP), which carries a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison. Police are still investigating the case further and will take his mental state into account.
On the other hand, Via took to Instagram today to respond to accusations that she deliberately set the incident up for insurance money.
“For those who have been suudzon [having a bad faith or prejudice against others] saying that it was set up, my car’s insurance ran out about a month ago and I haven’t extended it. So there’s no such thing as claiming the insurance to get a new car,” Via wrote.
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