Police Commissioner questioned on UPNG shooting

The case of the 2016 UPNG students’ shooting has been shelved after students did not come forward with statements to the police.

Police Commissioner Gari Baki gave this response when queried during a press briefing today with the Police Minister.

“As it is at the moment, the investigation came to a stop when the university students were asked to come in to assist with the investigations,” said Baki.

“We sent our investigators on the day that they were shot and were admitted at the hospital. None of them gave their statements; not even the medical practitioners over there gave us a statement to support us in our investigation.

“So we left it as it is. It’s not thrown away, it’s there. If it comes up, we will go back to it.”

Also speaking on the matter, Police Minister Bryan Kramer said once he gets the opportunity to be debriefed on the status of that case, they will reach out to those former UPNG students and encourage them to come forward.

“In the past this issue was a standoff between the students and police. I’m hoping now, in my capacity as Minister, to rebuild that trust. So then the onus is on them now to help us complete the investigation.

“I will be behind making sure that the investigation is done thoroughly and completed.”

On the 8th of June, 2016, after over a month of boycotting, students attempted to stage a peaceful march to the parliament to present their petition, but were stopped by armed police personnel.

The university students were calling on the then Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, to respect the Office of the Prime Minister, step down and be investigated over corruption claims.

However, on the day of the peaceful march, unarmed students were met with brute force at the main UPNG gate.

Four male students were admitted to hospital with bullet wounds while several others, including female students, suffered minor injuries, allegedly at the hands of law enforcers.

(Police Commissioner Gari Baki at the press briefing today)

Carmella Gware