National Police Chief foresees need to take stringent measures and precautions.
Jakarta (www.kath.net/ KAP) Indonesia's Police fear that the new year will bring an increase in religious tensions. For that reason the handling of such conclicts will have the "highest priority", said the national Police Chief Timur Pradopo to the daily "Jakarta Post" (Thursday edition). The General stressed that the police that the police will focus on prevention and proceed against crimes in connection with religious conflicts. "The people must pray. If there isn't a place where they can do that then the authorities should find them a place where they can conduct their services in peace," said Pradopo.
In Indonesia the number of attacks by radical Muslims against Christians as well as "heretics" belonging to the Islamic sect "Ahmadiyah" have increased. The police coming under increasing criticism; they are thought to be inactive in so far as their sympathy for radical Muslims is concerned.
Critics fear that the new line of the police will come to late: it will be hard for them to alter their customary practices, said the rector of the Islamic University in Jakarta, Komaruddin Hidayat, for the "Jakarta Post". "The Police represent the State and Law. For them there should be no minority or majority", said the Rektor. in any even they have long awakened the impression, to stand on the side of the majority. -- More than 80 percent of the more than 240 million Indonesians are Muslims.
In the meantime five trials have begun this week against 13 militant Muslims. The men are accused of a terror act A committed on a pastor and a community member of a protestant Church. Among the accused is also the director of the Bekasi- Area Group of the Islamic Defense Front FPI. The powerful FPI enjoys according to Indonesia Human Rights organizations, political backing in parts of the army, police and politicians.
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