By LUKE KAMA
MT Hagen came to a standstill yesterday when news filtered through about alleged deaths of University of PNG students in Port Moresby.
Commander of the Highlands mobile unit Senior Inspector Kauga Maragil told The National from Hagen that students from the Hagen Park Secondary School, after hearing of police shooting in the capital city, “took to the city and damaged buildings and properties”.
“The public, when seeing the students, also took to the streets. Banks, offices, markets and shops in the city shut down,” Maragil said.
“Police are not using firearms to contain the incident because of what happened in Port Moresby. We tried to maintain the situation on the ground as it was very tense.
“The new National Development Bank building, the BSP building as well as other buildings and the Court House was severely damaged by the students and the public as the riot covered the whole city.”
Maragil denied claims on social media that students were shot and said police were only using their force to contain the situation.
Meanwhile, the situation at Taraka campus at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology in Lae was tense.
President of the Students Representative Council David Kelma told The National yesterday that all gates at the university were locked and students are “all intact in campus.”
“Police, being suspicious of the incident at UPNG, came to the campus but we locked them out of the gate and told them to stay outside to avoid further riot as well as protecting the university.
“They came and fired several warning shots at the gate which made the students angry and they burned a new car belonging to Water PNG but we apologised to Water PNG for that.
“We also sympathise with our colleagues at UPNG and our boycott is still continuing so we will discuss on what we will do in the next course of action.
“But our course of action will always follow due processes and we will discuss that with police and the administration,” Kelma said.
By LUKE KAMA