The National – Friday, December 31, 2010
By JEFFREY ELAPA
TWENTY-eight houses were burnt down at Keng and Mater villages by angry youths, following the death of a Village Court magistrate on Karkar Island in Madang.
The villagers blamed the death of the person on sorcery. The youths then went on a rampage and razed houses of those suspected to be involved.
Provincial police commander Supt Anthony Wagambie Jr said the incident occurred a day before Christmas and the houses were all semi-permanent and build from bush materials.
He said that police on Karkar had attended to the incident.
Members of the rapid response unit from Madang were later send to the island to ensure the situation did not get out of hand.
Wagambie said the situation was under control as police investigations continued.
Leaders from other villages on the island had mediated for peace and more talks would start after the New Year.
Wagambie said police had also arrested two youths for break and enter and stealing. A home-made gun and a substantial amount of marijuana were also found in their possession.
On the Christmas operations, the Madang police commander said roadblocks along the north and south coast roads had netted a large amount of smuggled alcohol. Many unregistered and non-road worthy vehicles were also impounded.
Police also arrested and charged many drunkards and homebrew consumers along the North Coast Road.
Wagambie said police foot patrols along streets and in settlements ensured residents celebrated their Christmas peacefully.