Police in Jombang, East Java are facing pressure from a revered Islamic figure to drop their pursuit of his fugitive son, who is wanted on suspicion of molesting a minor.
A short clip taken on Sunday has surfaced showing Jombang Police Chief Moh Nurhidayat on his knees as Mursyid Thoriqoh Shiddiqiyyah, the elderly leader of an Islamic school in the regency, demands that the police drop the charges against his son, 42-year-old MSAT.
“This issue is a lie. It’s an issue for the family. Please return to your places. Do not force yourselves to catch my son, who is the victim of a lie,” Mursyid said while Nurhidayat nodded respectfully.
The police visited Mursyid at the school that day in order to ask for the cleric’s help in convincing his son to turn himself in as prosecutors have collected enough evidence implicating him in the crime. MSAT has proved to be elusive thus far.
Despite being made to appear small by Mursyid in the video above, Nurhidayat told reporters after the meeting that his department remains committed to capturing MSAT.
MSAT was accused of molesting a female student at the school in 2019. He was named a suspect in November of that year after he repeatedly refused to be questioned by the police. MSAT then filed two pre-trial motions to clear his name, both of which were rejected.
Armed with a warrant, police sought to arrest MSAT in January 2022 at the school, but hundreds of locals and students barricaded the school, adamant that the suspect was framed.
MSAT, who is believed to be hiding in the school, has been declared a fugitive by police after several failed attempts at capturing him.
Most recently, on Sunday, cops gave chase to a car that was transporting MSAT, only to be fired at using airsoft rifles by the suspect’s followers. MSAT managed to return to the school and was once again protected from the cops by hundreds of locals and students.