Antara & Telly Nathalia, Jakarta – Police in Papua's Jayawijaya district have identified three suspects involved in last week's riots in Wamena, in which 32 people died and more than 60 were injured.
"The three suspects are S.E. (40), I.G. (29) and Y.E. (53)," Papua Police spokesman Senior Comr. Ahmad Musthofa Kamal said in Jayapura on Friday.
Police seized gasoline from the suspects, who have been charged with committing group violence, provoking people to commit violent acts, and arson, which carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
The police spokesman added that the number of suspects was likely to increase as the investigation continued.
The riots in Wamena were sparked by a brawl between high school students on Sept. 23, based on a rumor falsely claiming that a teacher of the city's Yaspin Senior High School had made racist comments about Papuan people.
The brawl descended into widespread mob violence, which resulted in several homes, public facilities, government buildings and vehicles being set alight.
Wamena residents were forced to seek shelter and at least a thousand requested government assistance to leave the city. The Indonesian Air Force dispatched two Lockheed C-130 Hercules transporters to evacuate them.
Ahmad said 22 of the injured have already been evacuated to Jayapura, where they were admitted to several hospitals.