Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Police Claims to Arrest Mining Activist Murder Mastermind

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  • Solidarity act related to the murder of Salim Kancil, a sand mining activist on Saturday, September 26, 2015 TEMPO/Aris Novia Hidayat

    Solidarity act related to the murder of Salim Kancil, a sand mining activist on Saturday, September 26, 2015 TEMPO/Aris Novia Hidayat

    TEMPO.CO, Lumajang-Police named 18 suspects in the torture and murder of Salim, 52 years, and Tosan, 51 years, village residents of Selok Awarawar, Pasirian District, Lumajang, East Java, police said on Monday, September 28.

    Salim and Tosan were tortured by about 30 people, allegedly linked to their activity rejecting sand mining in the village. Salim died after the barbaric act on Saturday, while Tosan survived.

    "Until now we've secured report and set a 18 suspects [last Saturday],” said Lumajang Police Chief, Assistant Commissioner of Fadly Munzir Ismail, on Monday.

    According to Fadly, the number is likely to increase given the previous day two people who were arrested and 34 others surrendered. The suspects, not including the village head, who was said had rounded the mob before they surrendered.

    According to Fadly, the police have arrested the mob killing mastermind. "Among the 18 people that we have secured, it includes the mastermind," he said. Fadly did not mention the name of the person.

    As for those who have been named as a suspect, Fadly added, "each have different roles, from the inviting, ordering, hitting, throwing, and electrocuting the victims.”

    Anti-mining activist network in Lumajang previously revealed, Salim, who together with Tosan was in charge of the Communication Forum of Concerned Citizens of the Selok Awar-Awar Coastal Village, was electrocuted in the village hall.

    Tosan was tortured at his home and in the field not far from his home. In addition to being beaten with wood, hoe, stones and sickles, his body was run over by a motorcycle. "I know and recognize the torture perpetrators," says Ati Hariati, Tosan's wife, while attending to her husband at the Saiful Anwar Hospital.

    Ati admitted that her husband was actively driving the communication forum since last February. The reason was, tourism permit was used as a cover for the mining operation had destroyed the beach and trucks had damaged roads making the roads impassable.

    The protest act was what allegedly made her husband received threats from about 20 people who came to her house carrying sharp weapons on September 10. According to Ati, the threats was reported by Tosan to the police on September 11.

    Fadly said he did not know about the earlier complaint. He was on the job one day before the incident happened. He said it was his job to protect whether on request or not.

    DAVID PRIYASIDHARTA | EKO WIDIANTO