The Jakarta Metro Police have charged the first two suspects in their investigation into the highly publicized case of a man, identified as MA, who was beaten and burned alive at the hands of an angry mob after the victim was accused of stealing mosque speakers last week in Bekasi.
Though the police did not say whether or not the suspects took part in burning MA alive, they believe that the men in question are at least responsible for ganging up on the victim before he was set on fire.
“We have named two suspects identified as NNH and SH, (who is a security guard) from Bekasi,” said Jakarta Metro Police Spokesman Argo Yuwono, as quoted by Detik today.
Argo said that, according to their testimonies, NNH kicked MA once in the stomach and twice in the back, while SH kicked MA in the back twice. The pair was charged with assault leading to manslaughter and could be jailed for up to 12 years.
The police have so far interrogated eight people in their investigation into MA’s gruesome murder, including NNH and SH.
MA is another in the long list of people in Indonesia who have died at the hands of angry vigilante mobs. In MA’s case, many believe there’s a possibility that he was wrongly accused of stealing the mosque amplifiers as he was an audio technician whose work involved repairing speakers, though police have so far dismissed that possibility on the basis of evidence including testimony from the mosque’s caretaker.
MA’s wife, who is now six months pregnant and has been left to care for their four-year-old son, called on the police to arrest and punish those who burned her husband alive, saying, “Even if my husband was guilty, even if he had committed theft, he shouldn’t have been tortured and burned alive like that. He’s not an animal.”