A NEW trend of crime where innocent lives are being taken is developing in Enga province, Governor Peter Ipatas said.
And he has urged leaders in the province to address this “new trend of law and order problem” where innocent lives are being taken without reason.
Mr Ipatas condemned the brutal killing of more than four people including a family at a road block in a village at Surunki, about 20km west of Wabag town, allegedly by a group of men last Wednesday.
They were killed at wanton and apparently for no reason.
He said normally such brutal killings were carried out as revenge for crimes which were committed against an individual or group but “chopping people like trees” was surely an experience which was a new as far as he was concerned.
Mr Ipatas said it was time leaders including the Open MPs came to the province and addressed with his administration this problem which was most likely to have adverse effect on the freedom of movement of people including students in the province if it was not properly handled.
“Our leaders should not sit in Port Moresby and point fingers. They must come down and address this problem which remains a major concern for people in the province. I am willing to work with them for the good of the people,” he said.
Mr Ipatas also asked Police Commissioner Gari Baki to recall Wabag based mobile police squads 11 and 12 who were currently deployed in Kutubu and Gobe oil fields in Southern Highlands province to return home to help restore law and order.
He said extra police manpower was urgently needed as there was a shortage of police personnel in the province to deal with the break down in law and order, particularly in Kandep and parts of the Highlands Highway between Wabag and Laiagam where there were reports of illegal road blocks.
Mr Ipatas also appealed to the relatives of the deceased not to take the law into their own hands by organising payback killings as there were proper ways to address such problems.
Acting provincial police commander Snr Insp Albert Beli said his men were talking to relatives of those killed to ensure free movement of people on the highway while negotiating with local law enforcing bodies and village leaders to hand in those involved in the killing to them to face justice.