Indonesian Police Chief Fired for Negligence Following Church Shooting and Church Bombing

Also, Indonesian president promises to intensify security measures in time for Christmas and New Years celebration
( [email protected] ) Dec 21, 2004 03:28 AM EST

Last week, Palu police chief, Senior Commissioner Noman Siswandi was unceremoniously dismissed on charges of negligence following recent terrorist attacks on two churches in Indonesia. Siswandi was charged for failure in ensuring the public safety after being ordered to build up security in time for the New Years. In the recent wave of violence rocking the city of Palu, Muslim terrorists on motorbikes instigated a drive-by shooting at the Anugra Masomba Church, and bombed the Emmanuel Church shortly thereafter. Both attacks sent more than a dozen of people to the hospitals – with some under critical condition.

According to sources within the state-run news agency Antara, Cabinet Secretary Sudi Silalahi was quoted as saying, “The president has ordered his aides to anticipate security problems in such cities as Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya and Makassar.”

Recently, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has ordered Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Widodo Adisutjipto and National Police chief General Dai Bachtiar, to beef-up security not just in Palu but in major cities and trouble-spots throughout the island-nation.

Widodo made a statement earlier that in regards to the shooting and bombing of two separate churches in Paul, the government will treat the two incidents as acts of terrorism. He promised that the police and other investigative agencies would stop at nothing to identify and prosecute the perpetrators.

Wildodo, nonetheless, declined to comment on rising allegations that elements within the Indonesian military (INT) had been involved in the attacks. Earlier in the investigations, nine spent PT Pindad cartridges were found at the scene of the drive-by shooting. Suspicions arose over the fact that PT Pindad, a state-owned munitions company, caters only to the nation’s military. So far, official police reports have denied the validity of such allegations saying that that the nine cartridges were fake.

National Police Criminal Investigation Chief Commissioner General Suitno Landung commented that police headquarter will send a team of intelligence officers, detectives, and forensic experts to Palu to further investigation efforts. He also stated that the local police will increase patrols to restrict terrorist movements in and out of the city.

Since October 2003, scores of people have been massacred in a wave of violence that continues to disturb the peace and stability of the region. Most of the attacks have been directed at Christians in an attempt to fuel Christian-Muslim tensions. So far, the attacks have not produced the desired effects, and the churches remain firm in holding true to the gospel that teaches Christians everywhere to love even their enemies.