Report and picture by GABRIEL FITO
A FAMILY at Paparom village along the Sepik Highway lost thousands of kina worth of property at the hands of police, who raided their home early last Friday in retaliation over an earlier incident in the village, where four policemen were severely injured.
Three houses were ransacked while the fourth was razed with beddings and clothes that acted as fuel to the burning house.
The walls of the two semi-permanent houses and a sago-thatched roof with doors were pulled down by the raiding party that entered the house.
They assaulted the occupants and destroyed anything they could lay their hands on.
The permanent house also had its door forcefully opened and policemen, some of whom were masked, broke open the windows and made away with bags of clothes, machinery and electronic equipment.
Alois Wafy Fininki and his old mother owned the semi-permanent buildings while the permanent house belonged to his younger brother Terence.
The Fininkis claimed that they also lost K6,300 in cash believed to be stolen by policemen who searched their suitcases and patrol boxes.
The Fininkis also claimed that police who came in five loads of trucks took away with them bags of clothes and other valuables, while others they could not carry were thrown into the burning house.
The family praised Wewak police who were at the scene from saving some of their belongings.
The family said auxiliary police from Tangori police station with reinforcement from Numbo, Saussia and Yangoru auxiliary members carried out the raid and caused damage to property costing more than K100,000.
East Sepik acting provincial police commander Insp Charles Parinjo said yesterday that the police action was in retaliation for an attack launched by some drunken youths on a police unit that night.
He said a police vehicle was stoned with four officers receiving severe injuries including knife wounds inflicted by youths who were drinking at the Fininki family fermentary when police arrived.
Insp Parinjo said that the four injured policemen had been admitted to the Wewak General Hospital and were recovering.