TEMPO.CO, Lamongan - Personnel of the East Java Police Mobil Brigade escorted 42 members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) of Lamongan to the East java Police headquarters in Surabaya this morning, Tuesday, August 13, 2013.
The police transferred the FPI members using three trucks of its mass control unit, escorted by a truckload of Mobile Brigade personnel from the Lamongan Police headquarters to Surabaya at around 5 a.m. local time.
Lamongan Police spokesman Adj. Comr. Umar Dami said investigators from the Lamongan Police had probed the 42 FPI members. “We have questioned them about their membership status with the FPI, their involvement during the recent sweeping in Kandang Semangkon and Blimbing hamlets, and possession of bladed weapons,” Umar told Tempo today.
The police had detained the FPI members at the Lamongan Police headquarters beginning Monday morning, August 12, for a 24-hour questioning in connection with their roles in the incident. The police said none of the members had been named suspect.
According to the police, the incident was triggered by the persecution of villagers named Zaenul Efendi, Agus Langgeng, and Sampurno by Zainuri alias Zen, Viki, and Gondok—the three were FPI members—at a PlayStation rental game station belonging to Eko in Blimbing hamlet on August 8, 2013, at around 1 a.m. local time. Police said the three had been named suspects.
The incident angered Slamet Budiono alias Raden (35), and Said (16), who together with 20 other villagers planned to get even with Zen. Both Raden and Said, who later stormed Zen’s house but failed to find him, vented their fury by injuring Sundari—Zen’s wife—and Riyan on Sunday, August 11, at 11.30 p.m. local time.
Upon learning about the incident, a total of 42 FPI members, spearheaded by Umar Faruk, broke into the house of Muklis—whom they believed to be the leader of the mob—in Kandang Semangkon village in search of the persecutors. Muklis was not at home.
The FPI mob then razed Muklis’ house, including a television and six motorbikes, and headed for a house on Jl. Daendels, Paciran, and persecuted Hamzah Soleh (18), a villager.
East Java Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Awi Setiyono said the police were still looking into the case to find the connections among the four incidents and identified the persons involved.
He said the police had secured evidence in the form of two motorbikes allegedly damaged by the FPI members and scores of cell phones and bladed weapons, including samurai swords, machetes , bayonets, and sickles.
East Java FPI chief Habib Haidar Al Hamid had dismissed allegations his members were involved in the clash, claiming the organization in Lamongan had been frozen for three years.
“Since I was installed as chief of the East Java FPI along with the other FPI officials in regencies and municipalities in 2010, there had been no FPI officials installed in Lamongan,” he argued.