Five arrested over killing Papuan tribal chief

The Jakarta Globe, Nurfika Osman - Police detained five people for allegedly beating to death the head of the Beoga tribe in Timika on Friday, Papua Police chief Bagus Eko Danto said on Sunday. Bagus said that a mob became enraged when Joker Japugao, the head of the tribe, injured the feelings of those around him by making disparaging comments about the Moni and other tribes. The five suspects could be charged with causing violence that led to the death of a person, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail, he said. "Joker was rushed to Mitra Masyarakat Hospital and he died on the way to the hospital," Bagus said. "The situation in Timika
turned very tense on Friday and Saturday, but now [Sunday] it is back to normal."

Some media reported the victim's relatives planned to set the town on fire as revenge for the murder, but Bagus said the situation was under control. "There is no fire, as some media reported," he said. He said that thousands of Mimika Police and Indonesian Armed
Forces personnel had been deployed to safeguard the town since Friday night. Dozens of military personnel were also guarding
the hospital to prevent more clashes. The deceased was buried on Sunday after an autopsy.

Bagus said that tribal fights were common in the province as tribesmen had a feeling of deep pride for their tribes. "One word is really all it can take in Papua and it might cause a fight among the tribesmen," he said. Bagus said that authorities were always on the alert for security disturbances in the volatile province. The National Human Rights Commission, or Komnas HAM, has been monitoring the Timika Police because of numerous cases of officers and military personnel allegedly shooting civilians, many of which remain unresolved.