JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian National Police is set to take further action against the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) for repeatedly flouting health protocols following the return of their exiled chief Rizieq Shihab earlier this month.
Jakarta Metropolitan Police investigators looking into the group’s celebrations of the Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad and the wedding of Rizieq’s daughter led the way.
“[The Jakarta Metropolitan Police] has decided to step up efforts against the FPI from an inquiry into a full investigation,” said Jakarta Metropolitan Police spokesman Chief Commissioner Yusri Yunus on November 26.
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“We found evidence that the FPI violated health protocols under a 2018 law on health quarantines.”
He added that police are searching for further proof such as circulars on the events, and summoned 15 people who are known to be in attendance at the gatherings.
Police in West Java also launched a full investigation of Rizieq’s activities in the province, following the fanfare he received during a visit to an FPI-run religious school near the city of Bogor.
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“[The police] also summoned epidemiologists to determine [any wrongdoing by the FPI],” said West Java Police spokesman Police Chief Commissioner CH Patoppoi. “Our investigators are also investigating CCTV footage of the events, as well as the FPI’s Front TV Youtube channel.”
The police and civil service have taken the brunt of the fallout from Rizieq’s return to Indonesia following three years of exile in Saudi Arabia.