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Batam military chief's move unrelated to clash

Jakarta Post - September 25, 2014

Fadli, Batam – A military official with the Wira Pratama Regional Military Command in Batam has said Army headquarters has decided to replace Regional Military Command chief Brig. Gen. Bujang Zuirman. Bujang, will be posted to Army headquarters. He will be replaced by Col. Eko Margiyono.

"The replacement has long been planned and it has nothing to do with the recent shootings," Wira Pratama Regional Military Command spokesman Maj. Jhoni Tambunan said Wednesday. He said the inauguration ceremony would be organized after a similar ceremony for the Bukit Barisan I Military Command chief post, which would involve current chief Maj. Gen. Istu Hari Subagyo and predecessor Maj. Gen. Winston Pardamean Simanjuntak on Sept. 26.

Separately, the Indonesian Army's spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Andika Perkasa, also gave his assurances that the tour of duty in the Regional Military Command had nothing to do with the incident between Indonesian Military (TNI) and police personnel in Batam.

Andika said the replacement was based on the TNI commander's decree dated Sept. 16 and a command letter issued by the Army chief of staff dated Sept. 19.

"It's true that the decision regarding the replacement was in place before the shooting incident involving four Army personnel on Sept. 21," Andika said in a text message.

The TNI and the National Police continue to hold different accounts regarding the cause of the incident that resulted in the shooting of four TNI personnel from Battalion 134 Tuah Sakti in Batam.

Army chief of staff Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo earlier said that members of the TNI battalion went to Brimob headquarters Sunday night to request the release of a soldier in connection with a fuel heist raid, but that they were fired at upon arriving.

The four soldiers shot in the thigh by police were Chief Pvt. Eka Basri, First Pvt. Eko, First Pvt. Ari and First Pvt. Hari.

On Tuesday, Gatot ordered 500 standard-issue rifles belonging to Tuah Sakti 134 battalion personnel to be returned to a warehouse to avoid the possibility of armed retaliation following the shooting.

Earlier, Bujang had underlined that none of his personnel had been involved in the alleged misappropriation of subsidized fuel and that the clash was caused by a misunderstanding.

National Police chief Gen. Sutarman and TNI top brass agreed to create a joint task force to investigate the Batam brawl. The investigation team is also likely to issue recommendations to help the two forces avoid future clashes.

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/09/25/batam-military-chief-s-move-unrelated-clash.html