FPI Leader Rizieq Accused of Illegally Occupying State Land


JANUARY 27, 2017

Jakarta. The Agrarian and Spatial Agency said disputed land claimed by firebrand cleric Rizieq Shihab in Megamendung, a subdistrict of Bogor, West Java, is not registered with the agency but that it should be under the care of state-owned forestry firm Perhutani and plantation firm Perkebunan Nusantara, or PTPN VIII.

Agency head A.W. Ganjar said in a press release on Thursday (26/01) that the disputed land is "not yet [registered with us]... nor is it under our jurisdiction. It [should be under the care of] Perhutani and PTPN."

Megamendung subdistrict head Hadijana has confirmed that the disputed land is located in Kuta village, which is under his administration. Several buildings, including mosques, houses and an Islamic boarding school, have already been built on the land.

Data obtained from Hadijana show that Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq is claiming 6,000 square meters of the land.

"[Rizieq] has been living there for years. It's state property, so we're not involved. The owner is PTPN VIII Gunung Mas," he said.

Hadijana said that to his knowledge, no privately owned building may be built on state property.

"[But] there are several buildings on the land already, including a mosque. I've been there myself," he added.

The land dispute has surfaced after a complaint by local residents that Rizieq had acquired it illegally, according to West Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Anton Charliyan.

Police are still investigating the matter.