Officer wounded as police swarm Islamic school to capture child molestation suspect

Members of the police’s mobile brigade unit marching towards the school to capture MSAT on July 7, 2022. Photo: Video screengrab
Members of the police’s mobile brigade unit marching towards the school to capture MSAT on July 7, 2022. Photo: Video screengrab

Over a thousand police officers were reportedly deployed to aid in the capture of a child molestation suspect at an Islamic school in Jombang, East Java, who had eluded the cops on several occasions in recent weeks.

One member of the police’s mobile brigade unit suffered a wound to his right arm amid resistance from locals, students, and staff who placed themselves between the army of cops and the fugitive, 42-year-old MSAT. The wounded cop was transported out of the scene and to a hospital in an ambulance. 

Police surrounded the school at 7am and managed to eventually capture MSAT. In addition, cops also rounded up some 35 of MSAT’s supporters, who did their part in trying to prevent the police from capturing the fugitive.

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. 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 a mob numbering in the hundreds.

Also on Sunday, MSAT’s father and leader of the school, Mursyid Thoriqoh Shiddiqiyyah, made Jombang Police Chief Moh Nurhidayat kneel as he demanded that the police drop the charges against his son. Video of the interaction went viral and made the police look small when confronted by religious authority, but Nurhidayat afterwards said he was still committed to capturing MSAT.

Separately, police said Mursyid may face criminal charges for aiding a fugitive.

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