Groups up in arms after stabbing

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 28th August, 2012

FINCH Road in Madang  is set  to become a fighting zone for Taris and Engans living in the city as busloads of relatives on both sides yesterday travelled in buses into the province after a stabbing incident last month.
According to a victim who did not want to be named, the incident occurred three weeks ago in which three Tari brothers living at the settlement behind Finch Road stabbed a Grade 11 Tusbab High student in the ribs with a kitchen knife during a drunken brawl.
The source said that the victim was hospitalised for a month after that.
He stressed that a demand for K50,000 by relatives of the victim had been agreed to by the Engans during a mediation ceremony two weeks ago.
But the situation was tense yesterday as police turned up in large numbers at the street leading into the settlement area to control the situation.
The situation had gone out of control over the weekend when talks between the two groups soured after the Taris turned up with only K3,000 as compensation.
A fight broke out in which 12 houses in the Tari settlement were burnt to the ground in a dawn raid by the Engans as early as 6am.
The source added that pigs were slaughtered and beer in one of the tucker shops smashed as the Taris scattered, seeking refuge in the bushes and elsewhere.
The source said that two busloads of Engans had arrived in Madang two weeks earlier to receive the compensation and were armed as well.
“Police are disarming the Engans now as the two groups are only two minutes walk from each other. The situation is tense,” he said.
The source said he had tried to stop the fight between the youths when he was also attacked by the Tari youths.
According to a policeman, who did not want to be named, three suspects were apprehended and locked up at Jomba cells but they managed to scale the fence and jump to freedom last week.
He however said that one escapee been brought in by the Engan community and is back in lock up.