Police chief wants roadblocks lifted


POLICE Commissioner Gari Baki is urging relatives of two policemen killed while on election duty in Wabag, Enga, to remove the roadblocks on the Highlands highway immediately.
If they do not, he will direct the bodies of the two to be taken to Port Moresby for burial, he said.
Baki said to date no compensation has been paid to relatives of policemen and women killed while on duty.
“I am making an urgent appeal to the relatives of the two policemen to stop holding the nation to ransom and allow the Highlands Highway to be reopened immediately,” he said in a statement.
“This is not a responsible way to address this issue and the tribesmen of late policemen Jimmy Golang, of Jiwaka, and Alex Kopa, of Chimbu, should not resort to such tactics to seek compensation from the State.
“We have not paid compensation in any form whatsoever for officers killed in the line of duty in the 128-year history of the constabulary. This is simply unheard of.
“Many other policemen and policewomen have been killed in the line of duty over the years around the country but we have not paid a single toea in compensation.
“But we take care of funeral expenses of all members killed in the line of duty and ensure that their final entitlements are given to the immediate families of the slain members.
“I cannot allow people to use the deaths of my policemen for their own gain.
“I will be sending Highlands Assistant Commissioner Nema Mondiai to begin talks with the families of the deceased. I appeal for the political leadership of Enga, Jiwaka, and Simbu to step in and discuss this issue at their level.
“If the highway remains closed, I will direct the bodies of my policeman to be removed from the funeral home in Goroka and taken to Port Moresby for burial.”

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