The Papua Regional Police in collaboration with the Cendrawasih Military Regional Command will immediately take firm action against the perpetrators of the murder of a motorcycle taxi driver in Lanny Jaya Regency. The perpetrators of these violent killings have been confirmed as the Armed Separatist Criminal Group or the OPM (Organisasi Papua Merdeka or Free Papua Organization) operating in Lanny Jaya.
Although this has become a resolution that must be implemented, the Papua Regional Police still have to be careful when acting. Caution needs to be emphasized because international media places special attention on events that occur in Papua. In addition, the media has a tendency to put Indonesian security forces in a negative frame: committing human rights violations, silencing freedom of expression, and so on.
Papua Regional Police Chief Insp. Gen. Martuani Somin said, “Our personnel is waiting for the right time to enter there [OPM territory] to enforce the law against the shooting of motorcycle taxi drivers on November 1.”
The police also mapped the location for the ambush, which was the OPM headquarters led by Purom Wenda. “The location is three hills further from the location of the shooting of motorcycle taxi drivers. People [here] say [that the distance is] close. However, because of the steepness, it takes one day to go through just one hill.”
The police also stated that this criminal group had fairly complete weapons. Most of their guns are allegedly the spoils of the raid and various attacks on security patrols.
“[Their weapons] were belonged to our members who have been seized and killed. They have automatic rifles, minimi, and arsenal. Another two automatic weapons and also an assault rifle,” Martuani Somin explained.
The police managed to retrieve a chain of ammunition containing 98 rounds of ammunition left behind during a gunbattle from both sides in early November. If the weapons list data made by the Police match those of the OPM, the OPM has the remaining 60 rounds of ammunition.
Previously, Martuani Somin had left for Lanny Jaya Regency to meet various parties; such as traditional leaders, community leaders, youth leaders, district governments, and also the Regional People’s Representative Assembly. The result of the meeting was the issuance of permits for the police to enter the forest and hunt down the criminal group.
With the agreement of various parties, the Police immediately made temporary safeguards from joint forces of the Army and the Police. Besides, the Police also decided to evacuate education personnel who worked near the location. This preventive act is done to avoid unwanted events such as hostage-taking or crime against civilians.
The decision taken by the Police was reasonable given that the action of the OPM led by Purom Wenda was indeed known for its brutality. The Purom group, in particular, has never hesitated to shoot civilians or attack the police. The crime record is quite long. Also, the OPM tends to take hostage of citizens. Hostages had taken place in two villages, Binti and Kimbley, before. Hostage over education and medical personnel had also happened recently in Mapenduma. This step of increasing awareness is indeed necessary so that the security of residents is guaranteed.
Suripatty, Chanry Andrew. (November 14, 2018). OPM Segera Ditindak Oleh Polda Papua dan Kodam Cenderawasih. Retrieved from SindoNews: daerah.sindonews .com/read/1354702/174/opm-segera-ditindak-oleh-polda-papua-dan-kodam-cenderawasih-1542199402, 2018.