Manus police station destroyed

National, Normal


POLICE operations in Manus have been suspended indefinitely with the situation in Lorengau town tense after the police station there was heavily ransacked and state property worth an estimated K500,000 destroyed by locals.
The rampage on Tuesday between 10pm and midnight was sparked by the death of a young man earlier that night at the Lorengau General Hospital.
It was reported that the young man was admitted to the hospital for a severe head injuries sustained over a week ago when he was allegedly beaten up by local police personnel.
Meanwhile, it was reported via NBC Manus last night that Manus police commander Chief Insp Alex N’drasal yesterday announced the stop to all police operations as a result of the reduced police manpower and almost nil means of communication caused by the incident, saying it could not allow for normal police operations to continue.
It was reported that state property, included all police radio communication system, solar panels and court exhibits were destroyed in the retaliatory attack.
N’drasal yesterday said he had contacted the Islands’ regional commander and police headquarters in Port Moresby for assistance and advice on what next course of action to take to restore law and order services in the province.
A source in Lorengau whom The National contacted yesterday confirmed that on Tuesday night, two truck loads of men believed to be relatives of the deceased armed with axes, iron bars, spades and knives stormed the police station forcing policemen stationed there to flee during the rampage
The source also said the angry mob also broke open the police cells freeing 10 suspects who were locked up in there.
“The only thing that is left is the brick walls of the police station,” he said.
He added that the adjacent criminal investigations office, which had fibro walls, was also ransacked and completely destroyed with everything turned “upside down”.
“Even the Police Savings and Loans Society office was also completely destroyed,” the source said.
It is still unclear at this time what may have caused the actions by policemen on the victim.
It was also reported that the police officers involved in the bashing over a week ago had reportedly been taken to safety to allow normal investigations to take place.