Two shot, police reopen highway


TWO men were reportedly shot and injured yesterday following a commotion between police and Agarabi landowners in Kainantu, Eastern Highlands.
The commotion was in relation to a roadblock by the Anku’Aintenu Landowner Group (ALG) which started on Monday morning.
The road was however reopened at 4pm by police.
Members of the ALG closed off 4.5km of the Highlands Highway demanding K85 million from the Government as payment for the use of their customary land.
In a meeting yesterday with the landowners, police  directed that they remove the roadblock by 4pm and allow traffic through.
But the landowners refused to do so, saying they were given just two hours’ notice and they could not inform the 10,000-plus villagers about the directive from the police force.
Chairman Aaron Afantai said as the people were organising themselves to decide what to do, fully armed policemen in at least 10 vehicles  pounced upon them at the Bane Bridge section of the highway and proceeded to remove the barricade.
He said the action enraged landowners who reacted by throwing stones at the police.

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