In most cases of mob violence in Indonesia, the police do not attempt to charge individuals with the sometimes deadly attacks, even when there is ample evidence to do so. But the case of the man identified by police as MA, who was beaten, burned alive and killed by an angry mob last week in Bekasi after being accused of stealing a mosque’s speaker, is hardly like most.
Public outcry over the killing has led police to arrest five suspected of being involved in MA’s murder, including one who authorities say was shot in the leg for attempting to resist arrest.
The suspect who got shot yesterday is a 27-year-old man identified as SA. Police said they had evidence that SA was one of the main culprits in MA’s death, being responsible for buying, pouring and lighting the gasoline that was used to burn the victim while he was still breathing.
Polres Bekas Tembak Pembakar Pria Hidup-Hidup di Bekasipoldamerojayadotinfo – Rabu, 09 Agustus 2017Jakarta Jajaran…
“Forced by SA, we had to act firmly by shooting his legs,” Bekasi Police Chief Asep Adi Saputra said yesterday as quoted by Kompas.
Asep said that SA was shot because he tried to escape from the police officers who came to arrest him at his hiding place in Pandeglang, Banten on Tuesday night.
Police have also arrested four other suspects identified as SU (40), NA (39), AL (18) and KR (55). They have all been detained and charged with assault leading to manslaughter and each faces up to 12 years in prison.
MA’s killing has been covered extensively by the media and haunted the nation, not because instances of mob violence are so rare Indonesia (they, unfortunately, are not) but because of the possibility that MA, who made his living repairing speakers, might have been innocent of the crime that he was killed for, though police have dismissed that possibility, primarily based on testimony from the mosque caretaker who first accused MA of the theft.