Police keen to expose Bogia cult

National, Normal

The National, Friday July 6th, 2012

POLICE are determined to get to the bottom of the cult and cannibalism movement in Bogia, Madang.
Provincial police commander Anthony Wagambie Jr said it seemed they had only touched the tip of the iceberg so far. Recently, seven men had been killed by members of the movement. Police are questioning 12 of them over the killings.
The movement exists in three Tangu wards of the Yawar local level government in Bogia. It trains young men and women to track down people practising sorcery and kill them.
On Tuesday, another 25 inclu­ding eight women “graduated” after going through the training.
A dawn raid was conducted on Wednesday in which 29 followers were arrested in one of the hausman  at Biam village on Wednesday.
“The movement has existed for some time and police need the help of elites in the area, local MP, district administrators, churches, health agencies and non-governmental organisations,” he said.
He said investigations into se­-
ven recent killings revealed that
members of the movement killed those suspected of sorcery and did weird things with their corpses.
The followers went around the area intimidating and threatening the people.
“More needs to be done because their actions go beyond their intentions to detect alleged sorcerers,” Wagambie said.
“They wilfully murder, mutilate the bodies leaving wives and children to suffer without husbands and fathers.”
A member of the movement admitted to police that they were trained to detect sorcerers and kill them.
She in turn blamed the so-called sorcerers of killing people who were trying to improve their lives through economic activities to lift the standard of living among the people.
“We killed them because the spirit we possess reveals to us they are sorcerers. It’s the work of two spirits fighting against each other,” she said.
“After killing and mutilating sorcerers, the leaders cut off the penis and take it to the hausman to make soup. We are then forced to drink it.
“Others taste it by dipping their fingers. Some body parts are turned into lime to be use for detecting sorcerers again.”
A retired school teacher in the late 60s was among the 29 arrested during Wednesday’s raid.
The youngest was seven years old who was released from the Bogia police station.
Police suspect that 12 were involved in the killings. The two ring leaders are on the run.