Police cop it

Main Stories, National

HEAVY-handed tactics by rogue members of the police force have backfired in two provinces – Manus and Western Highlands.
The normally quiet, laid-back Manus capital of Lorengau was in a state of chaos yesterday as knife and axe-wielding villagers chased the police out of the province and completely destroyed the police station over the death of their wantok.
Last night, angry villagers were still on the warpath, hell-bent on doing more harm to police property and personnel, claiming that they had picked on the wrong guy.
In Mt Hagen, villagers near Kagamuga airport closed all air traffic movement for more than three hours yesterday morning to demand an explanation from the police for their shooting and wounding of a youth from the area last week.
They allowed the airport to re-open but gave the police and state two weeks to pay them K1.5 million for what they claimed was excessive force on an innocent man.
Yesterday’s attack on police added on to growing public resentment this month against rogue policemen and their heavy-handed tactics in dealing with ordinary domestic issues.
In Wewak, East Sepik, education authorities are still demanding answers to why four Passam National High School students were wounded by knife-wielding, apparently drunk policeman on the school grounds three months ago.
In all three incidents, the police hierarchy had not officially commented.