By MARJORIE FINKEO
THREE days after a man was slashed to death with a bush knife over a K100 dispute in Moresby North East’s 9-Mile settlement, a 20-year-old father of a 20-month-old baby boy was also similarly killed in the Kaugere settlement roadside market on Saturday.
This time, Biou Pasa, from Western, was murdered over a 20t dispute that followed with a “kill him” joke, sparking a horrifying bush-knife attack that almost severed Pasa’s neck.
Pasa was walking home at about 2pm when he stopped to buy a cigarette. He then argued with three women who demanded that he paid another 20t for the K1.20 stick.
But the man walked off and the women started jokingly calling out “kilim em” (kill him).
An Engan man, believed to be under the influence of alcohol, then stepped out of a canteen with a bush knife and asked the women what the commotion was about.
The woman then told the Engan that the Western refused to pay another 20t for the stick of cigarette.
The Engan man then asked the women what they wanted him to do and they jokingly responded by saying “kill him”.
The armed assailant then ran after Pasa and slashed him on the neck, almost severing it.
The Engan is reported to have surrendered to Boroko police and Pasa’s body is in Taurama’s Dove Funeral Home.
The killing sparked community tension and unrest with relatives and families burning down the house of the Engan and an empty canteen belonging to an Engan.
Police had to, again, move in numbers to quell the unrest, tension and emotion.
The settlement where the Engan lived is now a no-entry zone.
The National reported on Thursday that a 40-year-old man with two wives and seven children was also slashed to death with a bush knife over a K100 dispute in Moresby North East on Wednesday.
The murder also sparked community tension and unrest with relatives and families burning down the house of the killer who fled with his wife. Only 19 days into 2020, 12 murders have been reported in Papua New Guinea.
Kaugere 1 community leader Endie Ipira told The National that the women were only joking but the killer took it seriously, walked up to Pasa from the back and slashed him in the neck with a bush knife.
He said police would be arresting the three women and the witness to help in investigations.
Pasa’s mother, Moire Damu, said: “It is so painful and unbearable to lose my favourite son.
“I will not wash my son’s blood on my skin until he is laid to rest.
Damu is a mother of 12 children and Pasa is her were fifth born with a twin brother.
Moresby South MP Justin Tkatchenko, who is also Housing and Urban Development Minister, described the killing as “barbaric, animalistic and a very primitive act that has now divided the community”.
“The killer should be one of the first to be put to death under the death penalty law formalised by Parliament,” he said, adding that he had a dialogue with National Capital District (NCD) Governor Powes Parkop to formalise a ban on alcohol consumption in his constituency.
“If we have alcohol, home brew and marijuana-free in our community, such horrifying incidents will be curbed,” he said.
NCD/Central Acting Asst Comm Anthony Wagambie Jr said police had attended to the murders swiftly to curb prevent violence from escalating.
“The two murders, though isolated cases, depict a far more bigger problem that requires the full attention of the Government.
The nation’s population has increased rapidly over the past few years making our society more prone to crime and violence.
“Illiteracy remains high and more people are drifting from the rural settings into NCD in search of a better life but many of them end up
disappointed and are stuck with
relatives in the settlements,” he added.
Acting ACP Wagambie said illegal land grabbing is also causing illegal squatter settlements to mushroom, giving rise to all forms of social ills, including crime and ethnic violence in the city.
“This scenario also reflects a breakdown of moral values in our communities.
“The leaders, the churches and relevant State agencies must take ownership and devise a plan on how to contain such violence,” he said, adding that police will continue to work closely with communities enforce law and order.
Acting ACP Wagambie said: “We are however, stuck with this issue as people are already here.
“People have got to learn how to live together in one community.
“Respect for each one another has diminished.
“Many times when police go into certain areas to quell ethnic clashes, we are either obstructed or attacked.
“Communities will have to take ownership for their wellbeing and we will find ways to enhance policing accessibility into settlements,” he said, adding that police fully recommend that the NCD Commission revoke all liquor licences in all settlements.