Robi Alhalim, an Islamic boarding school student at Pondok Pesantren Nurul Ikhlas in the West Sumatra city of Padang Panjang, died yesterday morning after he was allegedly beaten by his fellow students. He was in a coma for more than a week in a hospital in the province’s capital of Padang before succumbing to his injuries.
According to the local police, students at the school accused Robi of theft because they believed he was responsible for numerous items going missing at the dorm recently. Nineteen students then allegedly abused him at the dorm over three days, after which he was hospitalized before, tragically, passing away from his injuries.
The Padang Panjang Police say they are still investigating the case and that they have seized some evidence pertaining to Robi’s suspected murder during a raid conducted last night.
“We have seized some evidence, such as a broken broom stick and shoes allegedly used to beat up the victim, and the victim’s clothes,” Padang Panjang Police’s Crime Investigation Unit Chief Kalbert Jonaidi told Detik today.
“We’re still investigating whether the victim really took his friends’ belongings or whether there were any other motives.”
Police have charged 17 of the students as murder suspects, but, due to their ages, they are being investigated in accordance to the country’s Child Protection Laws. Two others, also believed to be involved in Robi’s beatings, are still being treated as witnesses. None of the suspects are in police custody thus far.
Investigators have also questioned five witnesses from the boarding school, including the ustadz (preachers), the dorm head, and school supervisors to determine whether or not there was any negligence on their part.