Riau Police Name 116 Suspects in Forest Fires

id riau police, name 116, suspects in, forest fires

Riau Police Name 116 Suspects in Forest Fires

Pekanbaru, Riau, (Antarariau.com)- Riau police have so far named 116 people as suspects in forest and plantation fires in the province located on Sumatra Island.

They were allegedly involved in 70 cases being handled by the local police throughout Riau province, Adjunct Senior Commissioner Guntur Aryo Teji stated here on Monday.

In line with the instructions of the president and the national police chief, the Riau police have carried out the duty of investigating the forest fire and illegal logging cases seriously, he pointed out.

"We are not playing around in handling the cases. Every one involved will be punished," he promised.

Of the 70 cases, nine are still being investigated further, while 61 others have been considered ready to be brought to court.

The local police are particularly investigating the possible involvement of PT Nasional Sagu Prima (NSP) in alleged setting forest fires in Meranti Islands District.

Fires razed more than 20 thousand hectares of forest, plantation and peat-soil areas throughout Riau province.

The Task Force of the Riau Forest Fire Mitigation has arrested a number of people for illegally encroaching Giam Siak Kecil-Bukit Batu biosphere reserve.

Meanwhile, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono recently stated that the work to prevent land fires in the Riau province was conducted systematically and involved all parties, so the handling of land fires should not become a regular agenda.

"April through October (would be dry season), the root problem that causes the land fires must be tackled, and it is the only way to overcome the haze problem in Riau," the president explained when opening a limited cabinet meeting at the Presidential Office, in March.

The president, when meeting with fire fighters in the Riau province on Saturday, March 15, asked for an increase in the fire fighting operations and urged fire fighters to extinguish the blazes within three weeks.

"The intensity of the operations must be increased and I hope they can be finished in three weeks," he pointed out.
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Editor: Antara