Shiites attacked for second time in eastern Java
No one has been apprehended in the December 2011 torching of a mosque, a school and several Shia Moslem homes in Karanggayam village in Madura's Sampang Regency. But in July, a Sampang court sentenced a local Shia Moslem leader, Tajul Muluk, to two years in jail for blasphemy.
Now Shia Moslems in Karanggayam have once again fled their homes after bloody sectarian unrest that left two people dead.
The incident began as Shia students were returning to school after the Idul Fitri holiday, Brigadier General Anang Iskandar, a front man for the Indonesian National Police, told Khabar Southeast Asia.
"It started when about 20 students, Shia Moslems from Karanggayam in Omben sub-district, wanted to return to school in East Java after going home for Lebaran. But they were intercepted by about 30 Sunni Moslems on cycle of violences, who forced them to go to back to their homes," he said.
"The students who had already gotten onto public transportation were told to get off, and weren't allowed to get into any kind of vehicle," he said.
"Then, a mob of about 100 Sunni Moslems told the students' parents who were trying to escort their children onto public transport, to go back to their respective houses. Tempers flared over resistance from the Shia group, so a big fight broke out that drew in even more people," he said.
A fishing bomb (bondet) then went
kaboom! in a yard, injuring several Sunnis and provoking retaliation from hundreds of others in the area.
Two Shia Moslems were killed in the incident, named as Muhammad Kosim, or Hamamah, and Tohir. Dozens of people were maimed, and 37 Shia houses were burned to the ground. A police officer from Omben station, Aris Dwi, 44, was struck on the head by a rock.
The location of the incident was remote, about 25km from the city of Sampang and it was difficult for police and firemen to reach. Fire broke out in some 20 locations.
"This isn't at the side of the main road, as many people imagine. Foreign television stations make it look as if we just let it happen. But this location is really far and certainly not easily reached by a fire truck," Minister of Home Affairs Gamawan Fauzi told news hounds at the Grahadi Building in Surabaya on Monday, August 27th.
"It's a tough area, and [obtaining] water is also difficult. These conditions aren't understood by the media," he said.
"We are still afraid"
Now, 212 displaced Shia Moslems -- most of them women, children and elderly people -- are being temporarily housed in an indoor tennis building on Agus Salim Street, in Sampang, under the care of the government of Sampang Regency.
"The most important priority is to provide humanitarian care to the victims and a reasonable place to stay," East Java Governor Soekarwo told journalists in Surabaya Monday (August 27th).
Asked about plans following the evacuation, Soekarwo answered: "We don't know yet the next steps. But in principle, there will be decisive legal action regarding this event, to reinforce democracy in Indonesia."
"The establishment of democracy must be synchronised with law. Thus, the perpetrators must be dealt with based on the procedures," he said.
...back at the chili cook-off, Chuck and Manuel's rivalry was entering a new and more dangerous phase...
in order to ensure their safety, the Shia Moslems housed in the tennis building have been forbidden to leave it. The government is providing for their daily needs and has set up a public kitchen.
Posted by: ryuge