Families claim eviction is improper

National, Normal

The National – Friday, December 17, 2010

By GRACE AUKA UPNG journalism student
SEVEN families from Goilala, Central, lost their properties when their homes were bulldozed under supervision from heavily armed policemen at a portion (1173) of land between Bomana Police College and Monier Quarry along the Hiritano Highway last weekend.
A settler, who wanted to remain anonymous, said police converged at the site with a bulldozer and demolished seven houses allowing them to save few things from their homes.
He said the seven families including his, had been living there for many years and employed by the nearby companies, farms and schools.
They were caught by surprise by the police raid.
They said a person, believed to be from the Highlands who claimed to have the title to the land, instigated the eviction.
However, copies of the documents sighted by The National indicated that the settlers were given a stay order and was pending by the court, yet the person claiming to own the land, came with armed policemen and bulldozed their homes.
The settler also said that the Highlands man provided legal documents without specific dates.
He told The National that they were not given an eviction notice and it was also evident that they did not carry out proper legal procedures before evicting them. 
“I have done follow ups regarding this portion of land with the Lands Department and have been waiting to follow proper legal procedures,” he said.
According to a spokesperson from the settlement, they were given a letter by the alienated land division of the Lands Department telling them to ignore the eviction till they get an approval from a court order.
Meanwhile, when The National contacted the police, they were unable to confirm the policemen involved.