What would have been a crucial piece of evidence in the alleged shootout between the police and members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) on the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road simply does not exist due to a “technical malfunction” at the scene, according to toll road operator Jasa Marga.
Police said the shootout took place on the 50 kilometer point on the toll road, during which time armed FPI members were killed by the cops in self-defense.
The public has been demanding more evidence, including CCTV footage of the shootout, to support the police’s claims. The term “CCTV” became a top trending topic on social media yesterday as netizens demanded answers to the incident.
However, the state-owned Jasa Marga said CCTV cameras along the stretch of road from the 49 kilometer checkpoint to the 72 kilometer checkpoint were offline since 4:40am on Sunday due to a malfunction in the fiber optic cables.
The shootout allegedly occurred at 12:30am on Monday.
“[On Sunday] it rained and because of traffic load considerations, we did not fix the [CCTV network] thoroughly,” Jasa Marga CEO Raddy R Lukman said, adding that the system was back online at 4pm on Monday.
“So it’s not true that the CCTV cameras being offline was related to the shootout.”
Incidentally, the Jakarta Metro Police said it will release video footage of the shootout in due time, though it has not yet made clear whether the footage was obtained by toll road CCTV cameras or from elsewhere.
The Jakarta Metro Police also confirmed the authenticity of leaked voice notes from a messaging platform between the victims, who were separated into several cars prior to the shootout. Police say the voice recordings showed the victims coordinating to flank a police car that was tailing them.
The police previously said that the officers in that car were on their way to investigate a tip that FPI was going to mobilize crowds to prevent authorities from questioning their leader Rizieq Shihab, who has ignored several police summons for investigation related to mass gatherings held in his honor.
According to the police, the FPI cars flanked and crashed into the police car until they all came to a stop. The assailants then attacked the officers with firearms, a katana, and sickles.
The officers returned fire and killed six of the 10 assailants. The remaining four fled the scene and are now considered fugitives.
FPI denied that its members instigated the attack, claiming that the six victims, who were bodyguards of the group’s leader Rizieq Shihab, were abducted by thugs before they were killed. The hardline group also said that its members never carry firearms or sharp weapons.