A violent mob from a Christian congregation disrupted the Muslim rite of Eid prayer in Tolikara regency in Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua last Friday morning, arson a mosque and set ablaze public houses and kiosks.
The violence that was carried out by violent mob from Indonesian Bible Church (GIDI) congregation dispersed the Muslims who were in the middle of the prayer, forced them to seek refuge to a military compound to avoid violent act from the mob.
Papua Police headquarters Spokesperson Rudolf Patrice Renwarin said that the violence occurred at 7:00 a.m. local time.
“The mob repeatedly shouted out to forbid the conduction of the Eid prayer in Tolikara,” he was quoted by a local media as saying.
He added that it made the Muslims stopped their prayer and sought refuge to the military compound located nearby the scene.
However, an hour later, the violent mob comprised of hundreds of people started to hurl stones to a mosque and eventually set fires on it along with eleven kiosks and six public houses in the location.
The violent mob finally dismissed themselves after police and military personnel made warning shots with their rifles into the air. Rudolf said that the situation in the regency was now under control.
He said that no one was hurt in the event, while losses from the arson were still being calculated at the moment.
Responding to the religious violence in Tolikara, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla regretted it, calling on Muslims and Christianity followers in other regions to restrain themselves.
“We truly regret the occurrence of such an incident. I believe that police and local administrators are capable to settle this problem well,” Jusuf said in his office here later in the day.
Citing to reports that he has received, Jusuf said that the violence was sparked by the loudness of sound enhancers operated by the two groups who conducted their respective events in locations that were considerably close to each other.
“It was incited by the sound enhancers. It probably needs a better communication measures to hold such events,” the vice president said.
Meanwhile, at a different occasion, Indonesian Police Chief General Badrodin Haiti said that police would not deploy more personnel to Papua in dealing with this issue.
“Each group was expected to make peace. If considered necessary, it can be conducted with the help of regional figures so as to reach mutual solution to settle this issue,” Badrodin said later in the day.