Galih Gumelar, Jakarta – The Jakarta Police have dismissed Comr. Fahrul Sudiana from his position as Kembangan police chief, after he held a wedding reception at a five-star hotel despite a National Police edict banning mass gatherings to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
"Based on the Jakarta Police chief's request, the former Kembangan Police head has been transferred as a policy analyst starting from Thursday," Yusri said in a statement on Thursday.
Fahrul's dismissal comes after photos of the wedding, which was held on March 21, went viral on social media over the past few days, with many criticizing the police officer's apparent hypocrisy.
An Instagram post dated March 21 depicts a lavish wedding party with the groom wearing a police uniform and the bride wearing a sequin dress and tiara. A handful of police officers were also seen performing a saber arch behind the couple.
National Police chief Gen. Idham Azis had issued an edict on March 19 banning mass gatherings such as social meetings, workshops, music festivals, carnivals, sports events, fairs, mass protests and family receptions in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Yusri said that a Jakarta Police internal affairs division launched an investigation into the photo and concluded that Fahrul had breached the edict.
"The edict does not only apply to the general public, our members have to comply with it as well," Yusri said. "If police officers disobey the edict, they have to be ready to face the consequences."
Critics also pointed out that Fahrul's wedding went ahead despite police having dispersed hundreds of similar events since the edict was issued. According to police data, officers dispersed up to 1,371 gatherings nationwide from March 19 to 26, including wedding receptions.
The police also said they would press charges against those who persist in gathering in large numbers despite the warnings. Violators could face up to 16 months' imprisonment or a fine of up to Rp 900,000 (US$56.25).