Jakarta – National Police chief Gen. Idham Azis removed Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen Nana Sudjana and West Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Rudy Sufahradi Novianti from their positions on Monday for their recent failure to enforce coronavirus health protocols.
"[Nana and Rudy] were dismissed because they did not carry out orders to enforce health protocols," National Police spokesperson Argo Yuwono said on Monday as quoted by tempo.co.
Argo did not detail the cases behind the decision, but the dismissals followed a series of mass gatherings in and near the capital city centered around the return of controversial Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab last week.
Insp. Gen. Fadil Imran, who served as the East Java Police chief, has been appointed to step up and replace Nana to helm the Jakarta Police. Meanwhile, Insp. Gen. Ahmad Dofiri – formerly a logistics assistant for the National Police chief – is to lead the West Java Police, replacing Rudy.
Nana, who had previously helmed the West Nusa Tenggara Police, served in the capital for nearly a year after he was named the Jakarta Police chief in December last year. Rudy, formerly an operations assistant for the National Police, was sworn into office as West Java Police chief in April 2019.
Rizieq's return to Indonesia from roughly three years of self-proclaimed exile in Saudi Arabia has triggered a public furor, starting with thousands of his supporters welcoming him at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, on Nov. 10 – causing major traffic jams and disrupting flights – to the large crowds attending the wedding ceremony of his daughter on Saturday evening.
Many of his critics and the public in general slammed Rizieq's purported disregard for physical distancing measures and the authorities' supposed leniency toward such violations.
The Jakarta Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) slapped the firebrand cleric with a Rp 50 million (US$3,536) fine after finding him guilty of disregarding COVID-19 health protocols by failing to limit the number of guests attending his daughter's wedding in Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta, which reportedly reached 10,000 invitations.
Rizieq's son-in-law, Hanif Alatas, claimed that his family had paid the fine.
The official Twitter page of the Jakarta Police's traffic division, @TMCPoldaMetro, became the target of public complaints as social media users criticized the police's purportedly lackluster handling of such mass gatherings.
"So what exactly does the job of a police officer entail?" Twitter user @humble_brag_ replied to a pinned tweet on @TMCPoldaMetroJaya.
"How can I trust [the police] when they clearly allowed violations of physical distancing measures and mass gatherings to take place amid the pandemic?" tweeted @TomiGultom25.
Responding to the hullabaloo, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD has called on the Jakarta administration to further enforce existing health protocols over concerns of a possible spike in COVID-19 cases.
He said the central government had already instructed Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan to ensure public adherence to COVID-19 protocols during the public wedding of Rizieq's daughter.
"The enforcement of health protocols in Jakarta is the responsibility of the capital city's administration, in accordance with the power hierarchy and the law," Mahfud said during an online press conference on Monday.
The police are set to summon Anies to seek clarification over the details of the wedding ceremony of Rizieq's daughter based on allegations of the violation of quarantine measures as stipulated in Article 93 of the 2018 Health Quarantine Law. (rfa)