Timika, Papua (ANTARA) – Ferry Elas, 35, a platoon commander of the Joni Botak-led armed Papuan criminal group, was found dead at Mile 53 in Tembagapura Sub-district, Mimika District, Papua, on Monday.
Elas’ death was confirmed based on the outcome of a police and military probe at the crime scene, Mimika Police Chief Adjunct Sen. Coms. I Gusti Era Adhinata stated here on Tuesday.
Police and military investigators found similarities between the dead man’s physical appearance and a photo of Elas available on the security agency’s database.
Several photographs stored in the dead man’s mobile phone corroborated the truth that he was Elas, he remarked.
Elas was identified as a platoon commander of the Free Papua Organization’s (OPM’s) Kalikopi armed group in Tembagapura Sub-district, led by Joni Botak, he stated.
Based on his criminal records, Elas got involved in a spate of terror acts, including abduction, theft, and shooting, he remarked.
On February 22, 2020, he abducted a teacher and stole the teacher’s mobile phone in Jagamin Village, Adhinata pointed out.
This deceased criminal was also involved in a shooting on a security post in the Opitawak neighborhood area in March last year, he stated.
Elas joined a declaration of re-grouping of armed criminal groups in the remote Pegunungan Tengah area in Ilaga Sub-district, Puncak District, on August 1, 2019.
He actively joined the armed criminal groups operating in Tembagapura to launch acts of terror in the sub-district’s area last year, he stated.
The Indonesian province of Papua has borne witness to a spate of violence, with armed Papuan groups in the districts of Intan Jaya, Nduga, and Puncak targeting civilians and security personnel over the past two years.
Intan Jaya recorded its bloodiest month in September 2020, with notorious armed groups launching a series of attacks in the area that resulted in the killings of two soldiers and two civilians and inflicted injuries to two others.
Armed Papuan groups have continued their acts of terror during the New Year. On January 6, 2021, some 10 armed Papuans vandalized and torched a Quest Kodiak aircraft belonging to the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) at the Pagamba Village airstrip.
The armed groups often employ hit-and-run tactics against Indonesian security personnel, while they unleash acts of terror against civilians to stoke fear among the people.
On February 8, 2021, an armed rebel reportedly shot a 32-year-old man at close range in Bilogai Village, Sugapa Sub-district.
The victim, identified by his initials as RNR, sustained gunshot wounds on the face and right shoulder and was taken to the Timika Public Hospital in Mimika District on February 9.
On February 9, 2021, six armed Papuans fatally stabbed a motorcycle taxi (ojek) driver.
The 40-year-old driver, identified as Rusman HR alias Aco, was reportedly stabbed on a street near Ilambet Village in Ilaga Sub-district, Puncak District.
The local police reported that the driver sustained serious stab wounds on the back while attempting to escape his attackers and died of exsanguination.
Source: Antara News