Police fire tear gas to disperse crowd

Main Stories, National

The National, Tuesday October 22nd, 2013

 POLICE had to fire tear gas to disperse people attending the Morobe Agriculture Show on Sunday after officers were attacked and sworn at.

Police tried to disperse the crowd that was building up at the oval to join into the traditional Waipa dance and chat performed by people from Western Highlands and Southern Highlands around 5pm on Sunday.

Attempts to get comments from the Lae metropolitan commander Supt Iven Lakatani yesterday were unsuccessful.

Some men in the crowd swore at the advancing police officers and hurled objects at them. Police fired warning shots and tear gas.

The ensuing melee saw men, women and children running for cover and desperately trying to get away from the tear gas.

A number of men and women were injured especially those who tripped and fell. 

Many of those affected by tear gas forced their through the security manned gates and others scaled the fences of the Assembly of God and the Salvation Army churches and school to find taps to wash their faces.

Some who could not move, including those already in the Route 100 PMV buses, had to jump into the nearby drain to wash their faces in the muddy water.

A woman, who fainted had to be carried into the Salvation Army motel area. Police shot a man in the leg just outside the motel. 

“I think the stalls outside the show ground should not be allowed. 

“They sold food which is sold inside,” John Supa who suffered from the tear gas with his 13-year-old son, said.