Shihab Might be Named Suspect in Crowd Case During Pandemic

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NUSADAILY.COM – BANDUNG – The West Java Police might name organizer and owner of the Alam Agrikultural Markaz Syariah DPP FPI boarding school belonging to Habib Rizieq Shihab as suspect behind the amassing of people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organizer of the event and also the owner of the boarding school can likely be named as suspect, Director of Criminal Investigation of the West Java Police Senior Commissioner C. H. Patoppoi stated here on Thursday.

Patoppoi noted that Shihab was most likely the owner of the boarding school.

On the basis of investigation, Shihab had founded the Islamic boarding school in 2012, he added.

“Those allegedly committing the crime, the term is potential suspects, is the organizer, or maybe based on evidence, it might be the owner or founder of the Islamic boarding school (to be named a suspect),” he revealed.

On Nov 13, 2020, Shihab, who just arrived from Saudi Arabia, visited the boarding school in Megamendung, Bogor District, West Java, to perform Friday prayers and laid down the first cornerstone for the construction of a mosque. His presence had drawn a crowd of at least three thousand people that violated the health protocols set to handle COVID-19 that banned crowds.

Based on the Bogor District Head’s regulation, a boarding school can continue to operate but is not allowed to receive visitors, he stated.

Shihab’s event drew some three thousand attendees, thereby violating the COVID-19 health protocols in Bogor.

Patoppoi noted that in fact, the Bogor district head’s regulation necessitated that the number of visitors at an event be restricted to at most 50 percent of the total capacity, or a maximum of 150 people.

“Investigators decided that an alleged criminal incident had occurred, and attempts were allegedly made to hinder efforts in preventing the epidemic and in health quarantine administration,” Patoppoi noted.

The West Java Police had questioned 12 people and sought the views of an epidemiology expert in addition to checking CCTVs at the location and adjoining areas in connection with this Shihab crowd case.

In the meantime, the Jakarta Police also questioned several people, including Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan and his deputy governor, in connection with a crowd during a maulid, Prophet Muhammad’s birthday commemoration, organized to coincide with the wedding of Shihab’s daughter recently. (sak/ant)

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