The police have set up random road checks to stop people from joining election protests in Jakarta this week. (Antara Photo/Siswowidodo)

Police Arrest Organizer of 'Jihad Tour' to Jakarta

BY :WINDA AYU LARASATI & CHRISTIAN LEE

MAY 20, 2019

Jakarta. East Java Police have arrested Muhammad Roni, the organizer of a "Jihad Tour" to Jakarta on May 22. He was arrested on Sunday along with three other collaborators, Feni, a woman, A., and a man, C.

East Java Police chief Ins. Gen. Luki Hermawan said that based on an initial investigation, there were at least 44 people who had registered for the tour.

"Only 36 people have paid [for the tour]. We already know the list [of names] and we have canceled [the tour]," Luki said at the East Java Police headquarters in Surabaya on Sunday, as quoted by Kompas.com.

A message promoting the jihad tour circulated on WhatsApp groups of supporters of the presidential candidate pair Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno who have refused to accept the result of the 2019 presidential election.

The jihad tour offers a five-day trip to Jakarta from Surabaya for Rp 450,000 ($31) to Rp 600,000 per person.

The tour group was to leave for Jakarta at 6 a.m. on Sunday and arrive back at Surabaya on May 23 after the official result of the 2019 presidential election is announced by the General Elections Commission (KPU).

Roni has made a statement to try to clear himself and apologize for planning the jihad tour. He said the tour has nothing to do with politics, but was planned as a holiday trip for women who want to go shopping in the capital.

The choice of the word "jihad" is also not malicious, according to Roni. He said jihad on the tour was supposed to be "going shopping at Tanah Abang Market and praying at the Istiqlal Mosque."

Separately, the police also seized three minibuses carrying 56 passengers on the Suramadu Bridge, which connects Surabaya with Madura Island, on Monday morning.

During a search, police discovered that one of the minibuses was carrying Molotov cocktails.

"We found four Molotov cocktails. We've brought them here to be examined," Luki said at the East Java Police headquarters on Monday.

Luki confirmed that the passengers were on their way to Jakarta from Madura to take part in the planned protest on Wednesday. "They were going to join the protest on May 22," he said. 

The East Java Police said they have stopped 1,200 people from various regions in the province, among them Malang and Madiun, who were attempting to travel to Jakarta in the past two days. Some of them who aroused suspicion will be examined at the police headquarters, the police chief said.

 

 

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