The National, Monday July 22nd, 2013
By PETER ESOP WARI
POLICE officers at Margarima station, in Komo-Margarima district, Hela, were assaulted by a group of drunkards while leaving for an election briefing in Tari.
The drunkards, headed by a senior public servant and an LLG presidential candidate, almost knifed an officer who had to be quickly rescued by fellow officers and community leaders at the scene.
The armed drunkards chased the officers for more than 100m before pelting them with objects.
A police team engaged at the PNG LNG project site in Hela on their way to Tari arrived in time to provide reinforcement.
The group of drunkards had accused the police in Margarima of failing to carry out their duties.
Margarima police station commander Eddie Atopare told more than 600 people that he wanted those involved to surrender within 24 hours.
“You must surrender immediately or else we will use extra manpower from Tari to do the arrests,” he said.
Upper Waghi LLG presidential candidate Jelo Hape condemned the action of the drunkards, saying it spoiled the image of communities in Margarima.
He said the majority of the people were peace-loving and had worked hard over the years to maintain peace.
Margarima leader Jeff Mondoli condemned the group, saying they were narrow-minded people who had no appreciation for the police.
He said people must learn to appreciate government services and work with police to maintain peace in the community.