Nine members of the separatist movement West Papua National Committee (KNPB) were charged with possession of explosive devices after Jayawijaya Police allegedly found bombmaking materials in KNPB offices on Saturday (29/09).
The nine suspects were all charged under the 1951 Law on Explosive Ownership, Papua Police spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. Gede Sumerta told the press. They have been identified as JW, ED, JJM, BYW, SK, SH, YD, RK and NK.
Pilemon Elosak, a man who was detained by police after officers reportedly found the first batch of explosives in his house, was not among the list of those charged. Pilemon reportedly told police that Lani Hubi and Michel Waitipo gave him 0.5 kilograms of dynamite, a detonator and an undisclosed amount of aluminum in order to bomb multiple police, government and military offices across Wamena, police said.
Both Lani Hubi and Michel Waitipo were absent from the list of suspects.
Police then searched KNPB numerous offices in Wamena and allegedly uncovered two more bombs, three bows, one airgun, eight machetes, two axes, a compact disc on Papuan independence and a Morning Star flag, police said.
“They’re planning to blow up [the] military headquarters and police office,” National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said on Monday (01/10).
According to police reports, the men were reportedly behind the Sept. 18 bombing of a police post and an attack on a government office in Wamena.
The Papua branch of the Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy (Elsham) doubted the veracity of the police report, claiming that the evidence must have been fabricated by police.
The KNPB has historically been seen as a peaceful separatist organization.
A separatist group, the Free Papua Movement (OPM) has waged a low-scale insurgency against Indonesian security forces from their remote outpost for decades. Much of that fighting has been centered near Freeport Indonesia’s mining activities in Timika.
Papua Police is now being lead by a new chief who has vowed to take a grassroots approach to policing the restive province.
“This is a matter of hearts that we have to touch,” Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian said.
Tito was the former head of Densus 88 from 2004 to 2011. He was briefly appointed as deputy chief of the recently formed National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) before taking over the Papua Police.
Source: The Jakarta Globe