Mobile 13 from Lae arrived in Madang this morning (Sunday) to assist Madang Police stablise the situation, following yesterday’s unrest in which a Senior Police Officer, who sustained injuries, being admitted to the hospital.
I would like thank the quick direction and action taken by the Minister of Police Hon. Jelta Wong, despite being out of the country, and ACP Momase Peter Guinness, as well as Met Sup for Lae Anthony Wagambie Jr, for carrying out the directives without delay.
I would also like to acknowledge the efforts by Madang Police who have been working around the clock (all night) clearing road blocks caused by felled trees and Guard Dog Madang, Sally Proctor for purchasing and providing a brand new Chainsaw to Police.
This morning I spoke to a health officer, John Jeremiah at Madang General Hospital who confirmed three dead and three casualties (injured) following yesterday’s incident at 4 Mile Junction just outside of Madang.
A Police Officer from Madang was seriously injured and had sustained knife wounds to his face, shoulder and head. He has undergone surgery and is now in a stable condition.
I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family members of the deceased, the teacher from SHP as well as three youth from Amele Village.
Once normality is restored, an independent investigation will be carried out to determine the circumstances that lead to the tragic death of the teacher and the three youths.
How it started?
A teacher from Southern Highlands Province, teaching at Bau Primary Village, located 40 minutes drive out of Madang was viciously attacked and killed on Tuesday evening between 8pm and 10pm. His body was found the next day along the road.
Family members of the deceased traveled down to Madang to collect the body. They insisted that the head be returned. At this stage the circumstances that lead to his death remains unclear.
Police were deployed to Bau Village to speak with community leaders to assist with recovering the deceased head.
Word of the killing spread through the highlands community in Madang. On Friday morning a group of individuals from the same region as the deceased, set up a road block outside Handy Mart Service Station just meters away from Jomba Police Station.
Police removed the road block and dispersed the crowd. It is reported that they then regathered in the town area where they started attacking Madang people waiting at the bus stops.
The next day, Saturday midday the same group set up another road block at Jomba Junction in town again stopping PMV’s and proceeded to attack passengers who were from Madang. Police again responded firing shorts to disperse the crowd.
Madang Asples (locals) hearing of the incident set up their own road block at 4 Mile junction.
After clearing road block at Jomba Junction, Police then moved in on the road black at 4 Mile set up by local Madang people.
While trying to defuse the situation Police alleged that a vehicle loaded with young men drove down the hill. A young man holding a factory firearm (single shot gun) jumped down and pointed the gun in their direction. In response Police opened fire. It is reported shots were exchanged.
Sgt Elam, who is from Madang tried to intervene but was viciously attacked. Crowd dispersed, three killed and around 5 persons sustained gun shot injuries.
It is believed Madang people have planned to mobilise in the thousands and march into town. I will address them tomorrow at 4 mile.
I met with Police and PPC this evening to get a debriefing. I also plan to meet with Acting Provincial Administrator and PNG Water to restore the water after youth vandalized the pumps and generators.
As of tomorrow there will be no street sellers or buai market sales in town until this matter is resolved. Discussion will also start with Provincial Government to commence appropriate measures to tackle settlement issues and that includes ending the growth settlements and urban drift into Madang.
I expect Madang to return to normalcy by end of tomorrow.