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Shia group offered relocation
Publication Date : 09-09-2012
Sampang regent Noer Tjahja said on Saturday that his administration expected that Shia followers in his area would be willing to either move to an unsettled residential area in his area, or to relocate to apartments in Sidoarjo, East Java.
“The two plans offer better places than where they are currently,” Noer said after attending a meeting to discuss the Shia followers in Sampang with East Java Governor on Saturday.
Some 73 families of Shia followers are still living in shelters at an indoor tennis court after they were attacked by a group of Sunni Muslims a couple of weeks ago, the attack left two people dead and dozens of houses belonging to the minority sect were burned down.
Previously, the Shiite refugees had declined to be relocated. Many critics also regard relocation as the wrong solution to protecting minority sects from prosecution.
The Sampang administration plans to build a housing complex in an unsettled residential area within its administration for the Shia Muslims to live.
“We have not informed them about this new plan but whatever the solution is, it should be conducted in their interests,” Noer said, as quoted by kompas.com.