Indonesian police chief fired over poor handling of forest fires in Riau


PEKANBARU, Indonesia (The Jakarta Post/ANN): The Riau Police have fired a local police chief for his lacklustre performance in handling land and forest fires in the province's Pelalawan regency.

Second Insp Hindro Renhard Panjaitan was dismissed from his position as Teluk Meranti Police chief after failing to address raging forest fires in Teluk Meranti district in Pelalawan, where fires and haze have been repeatedly experienced during the dry season.

Hindro's dismissal was an indication of the police force's determination to ensure officers’ performance and readiness in anticipating forest fires and haze, particularly since police personnel had committed to striving to mitigate land and forest fires long before the dry season came last year, said Riau Police chief Insp Gen Agung Setya Imam Effendi.

"Every police officer in Riau should be prepared and serious in handling land and forest fires. In the meantime, realising the commitment of zero land and forest fires and zero haze is the focus of the Riau Police," Agung said on Tuesday (Jan 21).

Separately, Pelalawan Police chief Adj Sr Comr M Hasyim Risahondua said that Hindro had been replaced by Second Insp Dimas, who previously worked in the police's traffic unit.

"The dismissal is proof of the commitment in our efforts to anticipate and mitigate land and forest fires, especially in areas that see forest fires and haze every year," Hasyim said.

"If one lacks seriousness, one will face the consequence of being dismissed."

He said personnel who were serious and anticipated forest fires would be rewarded.

"The reward will be in accordance with the intensity of their work in the field. All achievements will be reported to the Riau Police chief," he said. - The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

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