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Video shows Indonesian military tanks in Jakarta, soldiers seen removing FPI banners

FPI Rizieq Shihab Military tanks Jakarta Indonesia

According to reports from Indonesia, Maj. Gen. Dudung Abdurachman, the Jakarta Military Commander said that he had ordered his officials to remove all banners in the city that portrayed, Rizieq Shihab, the leader of Islam Defenders Front (FPI). Rizieq Shihab had previously caused military tanks to come out in order to curb the activities of FPI in Jakarta.

FPI leader, Rizieq Shihab finds himself in another controversy

A video surfacing on social media shows a crowd of people wearing Indonesian Military (TNI) uniforms and removing banners portraying the face of the firebrand cleric. “The officers in uniform who took down the banners acted based on my order,” Dudung told the press on Friday. The FPI leader has previously faced sanctions as well, military tanks in Jakarta were ordered to handle the party.

The Jakarta Public Order Agency had also initially removed any traces of the banners told the Jakarta Military Commander. However, the FPI supporters responded by reinstalling the posters all over the state, this prompted the soldiers to remove them in order to demonstrate strict action. Indonesia’s parliament has enacted laws that regulate the mediums and mechanisms for displaying banners.  These laws also contain stipulations on banner taxation. Maj. Gen. Dudung Abdurachman said that permits were not secured for the banners put up by FPI supporters.

“This is a country under a rule of law so everyone must abide by the law. No one can play by their own rules and act as if they are the rightful one, ” said Dudung.  “It’s better for the FPI to be disbanded, if necessary,” he added.

Tense situation in Indonesia

Dudung further said the TNI would persist in its operation to remove banners that portray Rizieq Shihab. He further reiterated that there should not be banners campaigning for a “revolution” or any other another similar sentiment. The general further told the cleric and his supporters that he would not be reluctant about maintaining a strong approach if FPI supporters try to threaten the law and order situation in Indonesia. He also mentioned that the FPI and their party leader should know that they do not “represent the Islamic community“.

Rizieq Shihab has attracted considerable attention since he returned to Indonesia on Nov. 10. Several of his supporters gathered at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten to welcome their leader. The FPI headquarters in Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta, was filled to the brim with these enthusiastic supporters. They gathered without following the COVID-19 physical distancing guidelines.

The controversial leader also attracted crowds of thousands of supporters when he paid a visit to an Islamic boarding school located in Puncak in Bogor, West Java. The same crowds gathered during the commemoration of Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday (Maulid) by the leader. The controversial cleric also invited crowds to the wedding of his daughter that took place on a weekend at Tanah Abang.

About the author

Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

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