Johor cops arrest 20 over viral rioting incident in Batu Pahat

JOHOR BARU: Some 20 individuals have been arrested by the police here to assist in investigations into a rioting incident that broke out on the early morning of the first day of Hari Raya on Thursday (May 13).

Johor Criminal Investigation Department chief SAC Datuk Md Yusof Ahmad said that the suspects, who are between the ages of 16 and 28 years old, were arrested in a special operation around the Batu Pahat area that started at around 11pm on Thursday (May 13).

"All of those arrested have been brought to the Batu Pahat court on Friday (May 14) morning for a remand application.

"The suspects will be remanded for four days until May 17 to assist in investigations under Section 144, Section 269, and Section 505 (b) of the Penal Code; Section 8 of the Explosives Act; Section 48 of the Road Transport Act; as well as the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342)," he said.

He said that the incident was believed to have taken place at around 2am on Thursday in Pekan Parit Raja at KM22.5 Jalan Batu Pahat - Kluang.

He added that all of those arrested do not have any criminal records.

"We are also investigating whether there were any activists or non-government organisations involved in the incident," he said.

In an earlier statement late Thursday (May 13) night, Batu Pahat OCPD ACP Ismail Dollah said that police arrested a 21-year-man in connection with the incident.

He said that the police received an alert from the public at 11.04am on Thursday (May 13) that a banner criticising the government was spotted on a bridge at Jalan Parit Raja heading to Ayer Hitam.

"However, when the police visited the location, we found that it had been taken down.

"Not long after that, police received a report about a video of a rally, lighting up flares and raising a banner that did not comply with the set standard operating procedures.

"Initial investigations found that the incident occurred in Parit Raja and it is believed that the banner raised during the rally is the same banner that was spotted on the bridge, ” said.

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