TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The police have scheduled the questioning of Pelalawan Regent Muhammad Haris today, October 3 in relation to massive land and forest fires in his region.
“As scheduled, he [Haris] will be questioned as a witness,” said National Police’s director of specific crimes Brig. Gen. Fadli Imran through a text message, October 3.
According to the police, Haris’ statement is necessary to reveal actions taken by the regional administration. “To what extent the local government in issuing the business license for companies suspected to be in charge of forest and land burning.”
Haris is the first regional head called in by the police since the most hotspots are found in Pelalawan. Other regional heads are subjected to the police summon as well.
In the wildfire case, the local government has a responsibility to monitor companies that have possessed a license considering they are required to design fire mitigation in their lands.
Although most hotspots were detected in Riau Province, only two companies have been named suspects thus far, namely PT AP and PT SSS. “There is a corporation that recurs [its crime], PT AP.”
Fadli asserted that the police have sealed off burnt lands.
According to the National Police’s Criminal Investigation Directorate, a total of 95 business companies have been prosecuted for forest fires. 11 of them have been named suspects, while the rest 84 are still undergoing the examination process. Also, 325 individuals were named suspects.