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Police arrest PDI-P flag, banner vandals in Pekanbaru

Jakarta Post - December 17, 2018

Rizal Harahap, Pekanbaru – The Pekanbaru Police have named two individuals, identified as KS and MW, as suspects of vandalizing campaign material belonging to the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) in the capital of Riau province.

Police apprehended both individuals on Sunday after they were found tearing down the party's flags in Tenayan Raya district. Both suspects were immediately detained.

"They were promised Rp 150,000 [US$10.26] for destroying the banners by a person whose identity is still under investigation," Riau Police chief Insp. Gen. Widodo Eko Prihastopo said during a press briefing on Monday.

The police chief dismissed the allegation the suspects were named at the behest of certain parties. "The investigation is still ongoing to find another suspect, the mastermind, in this case and another one related to Democratic Party banners."

KS and MW were apprehended just one day after the Pekanbaru Police arrested Heryd Swanto, 22, who was caught trying to rip up a Democratic Party banner with a box cutter early on Saturday morning.

Also, on Saturday, dozens of the party's flags and banners were found ripped off and torn, on the day party chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited the city. PDIP Riau branch chairman Rokhmin Dahuri gave an assurance the suspects were not party members or supporters.

Separately, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto said there was no ploy behind the incidents. "We have instructed authorities to investigate the incidents. We don't want this to affect our national democracy index," Wiranto said on Monday in Jakarta. (kuk/ggq/swd)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/12/17/police-arrest-pdi-p-flag-banner-vandals-in-pekanbaru.html