PPC defends officers

The Madang Provincial Police Commander, Chief Inspector Ben Neneo, has defended his officers saying the shooting of the four locals was unintentional.

Three youth were shot at Gum Bridge, outside of Madang town, while another was killed at Four-Mile during the recent unrest.

PPC Neneo said his officers were retaliating to save one of their colleagues, who was attacked by the locals.

He clarified that the police officer, who was from that area, was driving to Madang town from his village when that incident happened.

“Seeing what was happening and thinking that he was from that area, the officer stopped the vehicle and stepped out and tried to talk to the people.

“However, he was attacked,” PPC Neneo explained.

He said Police appropriately responded to disperse the crowd after they were attacked.

“Gunshots were fired from the crowd, wire catapults and stones were thrown at police which prompted my police men to disperse them.”

He added that when his men saw their colleague being attacked, they retaliated and saved him.

The police were attacked at Gum Bridge.

The police also confiscated a firearm from one of those youths that was shot.

The officer is currently nursing major injuries at the Modilon Hospital.

Meantime, PPC Neneo said he is yet to get an explanation as to why some leaders were seen with the people but were not able to stop them from protesting.

He said leaders seen among the crowd were the Bogia MP, Usino-Bundi MP and former governor James Yali.

Neneo is calling on these leaders to come forward and explain themselves to the people of Madang what their intentions are when they were with the people but didn't do something to talk them down.

He said they will be held accountable if investigations into the matter finds out that they are guilty, and they will be charged accordingly.

PPC Neneo further reiterated that he just moved into the province and is yet to meet all the leaders, including MPs.

He assured the people of Madang that he will get to the bottom of this and expose those leaders with vested interests.

(During the unrest last week – Picture: Niugini Photographs)

Freddy Mou