Why demand for Madang police boss’ dismissal?

Locals have called for the resignation of the Madang Provincial Police Commander (PPC) due to the alleged lack of response in controlling the unrest.

“The immediate dismissal and replacement of the provincial police commander was among the demands raised by the people of Madang in the petition that was presented on April 17,” spokesperson Kamal Naus told Loop PNG.

“A few days after the incident (beheading of the teacher), hooligans gathered at Handy Mart, which is about a hundred metres away from the provincial government office and police station, and started harassing people.

“They smashed the windscreens of vehicles, threw stones at them…they had knives and sharp objects and were just harassing people.

“Some of the residents suffered serious injuries and had to go to the hospital.

“This continued for some good three hours right under the nose of the PPC and his men at the police station, as well as the provincial government.

“No one had the guts to come out and stop these hooligans.”

The law and order issue soon spiraled out of control, leading to a series of confrontations that resulted in damages, injuries and loss of lives.

Naus said they had expected the police boss to react and attend to the situation immediately.

“That was our frustration, our anger and our biggest disappointment – the lack of response by police.

“We need someone who is proper, fit, professional and competent.”

The people of Madang are still waiting for the provincial administration and Governor Peter Yama to respond to their petition.

“It’s important for this demand to be met as it is the stand of the people of Madang.”

Naus said discussions will still continue with the provincial government and he is appealing to his people to remain calm and be patient.

Meantime, PPC Ben Neneo told Loop PNG that his men were trying to contain the April 6 chaos in Madang town when misinformation was spread, alleging that police were siding with the settlers.

“That was when locals started gathering in numbers,” said the Madang police boss.

The next day, a confrontation between locals and police ensued. A policeman was critically injured during that time whilst three youths were shot dead.

(Loop filepic)

Carmella Gware