Man shot by cops in Mt Hagen

National, Normal

By PETER WARI DWU journalism student

A MAN is seriously wounded and fighting for his life at the Mt Hagen General Hospital after he was allegedly shot by police last Thursday in Southern Highlands province.
The victim identified as Kennedy Embia in his mid 30s from Yaken Village in the Lower Mendi LLG in Imbonggu district, was returning to Mendi from Tari when the incident happened.
He drove past two police vehicles, MS13 and MS8 who were returning back from licence-based benefits sharing agreement signing at Hides when they allegedly shot the him.
It was alleged that the police under the influence of alcohol followed him at the back and fired two shots when they approached Tepe village.
The first bullet hit the back of the windscreen and the second one hit him at the back of his head.
He lost consciousness and lost control of his vehicle and the vehicle skidded off the road and rolled over.
The victim and two of his companions sitting inside were all thrown out when the vehicle rolled.
The police stopped their vehicles and went closer, fully armed to see the result when they  were disturbed by people coming back from a video show in the night.
Community leader Steven Temo said Lower Mendi people were peace-loving people and action by the police had made the people to fear the multi-national company ExxonMobil and threatened the people living along the National Highway.
Mr Temo, along with other community leaders and council president are appealing to the police commissioner to make it clear if there are such laws in place for policemen to shot any vehicles overtaking police vehicles in Papua New Guinea.
“We are appealing to ExxonMobil people and the landowners to come out and help us to address the issue because this is a serious matter and needs to be addressed immediately,” they said.
A peaceful demonstration will take place tomorrow in Mendi town.
Assistant police commissioner Simon Kauba confirmed that Embia was injured.
ACP Kauba said the victim, who was a driver, was overtaking a convoy of trucks returning from Tari at the high speed.
He said policemen travelling in the convoy allegedly shot the tyre after suspecting the driver of transporting some criminal elements.
He said, as a result, the vehicle ran off the road.
ACP Kauba said police in Mendi were now investigating the matter whether his policemen were involved in the shooting or not.