Apriadi Gunawan, Medan, North Sumatra – The police in Medan, North Sumatra, have arrested a man for allegedly ripping a page from the Quran after stealing it from Al-Mahsum Mosque in the city last month.
The suspect, identified only as DIM, 44, a Medan resident, was arrested as he walked around the mosque on Thursday.
Medan Police chief Sr. Comr. Jhony Edizzon said he suspected the perpetrator was about to repeat his action before the police caught him.
"The suspect wasn't acting alone. He was part of a group who incited him to commit the offense. We are currently hunting that group," Jhonny said on Thursday.
He added that the group was believed to have paid DIM Rp 700,000 (US$51.10) as a reward. The money has been confiscated by the police, along with a ripped page from the Quran and a mobile phone.
According to Jhonny, the police arrested the suspect after watching a CCTV surveillance video recording from the mosque dated Jan. 31. The suspect was praying at the mosque at that time, and stole the Quran from a cabinet, ripped out a page and pocketed it. The suspect proceeded to walk to the toilet, shredded the page into four pieces, and threw it onto the street.
The police claimed that the suspect was aware of what he was doing. "He is mentally healthy," Jhonny said, adding that the suspect worked as a construction worker.
DIM will be charged under Article 156 of the Criminal Code and faces five years' imprisonment if found guilty.
"Do not ever try to disturb the peace in Medan city. We have no room for terrorists in this country, we will take action against them," Jhonny said.
Zulkarnaen Sitanggang, an Indonesian Ulema Council member in Medan, asked the police to resolve the case as soon as possible.
"We want the police to take care of the Quran case because it makes Muslims uneasy," Zulkarnaen said. (dpk)