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  Updated: December 31, 2011

Hundreds of Indonesian Shias still take refuge after husseiniyah, homes, school torched

By: Nizam Hussain

JAKARTA, Indonesia: Indonesian police and military personnel are still on guard to anticipate further violence after arson attacks committed by an extremist terrorist group in Sampang, Madura, East Java, toward homes, a boarding school and house of worship belonging to Shia believers (hussainiyah).

Quoting Chief of Sampang Police Department, Adj. Chief. Comm. Solehan, VIVA news reported: "Many houses are still left empty as the residents are still taking refuge."

Solehan said hundreds of villagers of Shia believers fled their homes to safer places. Earlier, the refugees stayed at the office of subdistrict head. However, as the numbers increased, they were relocated.

Center for Marginalized Communities Studies (CMARS) of Surabaya said the conflict in Sampang has been on and off since 2004. It climaxed day before yesterday (Thursday December 29) as an Islamic boarding school (pesantren) of Shia believers was burnt by around 500 terrorists.

CMARS stated that it was the second time that the arson took place in December 2011. Earlier, the arson targeted a house of Shia follower in Blu'uran Village, Sampang, Dec 20.

“People are still furious. The situation is not yet back to normal,” said Chief of East Java Police Public Relations, Comm. Rahmad Mulyana to VIVAnews.

Mulyana said that police are still holding talks with the people who committed the arson. “We are asking them not to continue their action,” he said.

A number of Mobile Brigade police officers were also sent to the location. Their job is to isolate the area so that the riot will not spread to other areas. “Negotiation is still underway. The isolation of Sampang area has been made,” he said.

The extremists did not accept the building of Shias place of worship in their neighborhood.


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