Papua Police sent a platoon of troops to Paniai after a tribal chief killed

Paniai
Papua Regional Police Chief, Inspector General Mathius D Fakhiri. - Jubi/Alexander Loen

Jayapura, Jubi – The Papua Police sent a platoon of troops from the Dogiyai Police to Paniai Regency to anticipate further riots following the death of a tribal chief, who was shot during the vandalism at the Paniai Regent’s Office on Tuesday, July 5, 2022.

“Tonight we are monitoring the situation in Paniai. If it’s still not enough, tomorrow we will add more force from the nearest police station to strengthen the existing personnel,” said the Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Mathius D Fakhiri in Jayapura City on Tuesday.

According to Fakhiri, the chaos on Tuesday occurred during a meeting of the Steering Committee (Bamus) for the Paniai Village Heads Election. He confirmed that a civilian named Donatus Nawipa was reported dead.

“During the meeting, there was a group that was dissatisfied. They vented their dissatisfaction by destroying the facilities at the Regent’s Office. The group became increasingly violent, forcing the security forces on guard to fire tear gas at the crowd. However, the crowd did not disperse and became more violent. Police officers were forced to fire warning shots to disperse the crowd,” he said.

As a result of the riot, Fakhiri said, it was reported that several people were injured. One of them was Donatus Nawipa who was injured in the stomach. “The victim was rushed to the hospital but his life could not be saved,” said the Papua Police chief.

From Jubi’s investigation in the field, the vandalism at the Paniai Regent’s Office on Tuesday began with the distribution of logistics for the 216 Village Head Election Committees in Paniai. In the distribution of logistics, each election committee received transportation money worth Rp 800,000. This amount was considered too small by some of the committees at the village level.

Even though a number of election committees at the regency level have tried to explain that there would be another fee later, the committee at the village level did not accept such an explanation. They were angry and went to the Paniai Regent’s Office, breaking the doors and windows there.

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According to the witnesses, the police came later and tried to take a position in front of the crowd. The police finally fired tear gas at the crowd but the crowd grew angry and threw the police with pieces of wood and stones.

The police finally opened fire and the crowd dispersed. A number of people were injured, suspected to have been shot, including Donatus Nawipa, the chief of the Ogeida Tribe, Pasir Putih District, who was injured in the right abdomen.

Donatus Nawipa and at least one other resident were rushed to Paniai Hospital. Paramedics had tried to provide help for Donatus Nawipa but he finally died at 14.49 p.m. local time. (*)

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