JAKARTA: Jakarta police chief Fadil Imran told reporters that the Indonesia police kill the six alleged followers of hardline Indonesian Islamic cleric Rizieq Shihab on Monday.
The incident occurred on a highway just after midnight. When a police car was targeted while chasing a car thought to be carrying clerical supporters, resulting in a shooting, Fadil said.
After large gatherings to mark his return last month to the world’s largest Muslim majority nation from self-exile in Saudi Arabia, police have been investigating the cleric for violations of health protocols during the pandemic.
After facing charges of pornography and insulting state ideology, the 55-year-old, a firebrand cleric who leads the Islamic Defender’s Front (FPI). It is a radical Islamic party that has become politically powerful in recent years, left Indonesia in 2017.
Rizieq’s self-imposed exile seems to have done nothing to diminish his popularity. It is considering the accusations that his supporters say were untrue and an attempt to undermine him.
Tens of thousands flocked to the airport in white Islamic garb when he arrived in the capital Jakarta. They are ignoring coronavirus protocols and clamouring to kiss his hand.
Furthermore, Rizieq was the figurehead of the hardline ‘212’ movement. He opposed the former Christian governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as ‘Ahok’. He was convicted and finally imprisoned for insulting Islam, before he left Indonesia.
The rallies were the largest since the fall of Suharto, the former authoritarian dictator of Indonesia, in 1998.
Rizieq has announced his plans to embark on a “moral crusade” in the weeks after his return and has met several politicians and opposition figures.
FPI officials could not be contacted immediately for comment on the deadly clash with police on Monday.
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