Police monitor group trained to torture suspected sorcerers

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday July 4th, 2012

POLICE are monitoring a group of men trained to torture those suspected of practising sorcery in Bogia, Madang province.
Police officers from Madang have been sent to investigate the killing of four men in the Tangu area of hinterland Yawar local level government in Bogia last Thursday while voters were at Biam village for polling. The four men accused of practising sorcery were identified as Soni Tumba, 47, from Imbeya village, Richard Wakarum, 42, Patrick Dariki, 30, and Max Dariki, 26, from Ambung village.
Last Friday, locals discovered another dead man tied to a cocoa tree in the area.
Provincial police commander Anthony Wagambie Jnr said the rapid response unit
was in the area to assess the situation.
“Police will do a separate investigation after the election,” Wagambie said.
Biam villagers said sorcery had become common in Tangu.
The group of young men was therefore trained to attack those suspected of practising sorcery, they said.
“In the 14 communities of Tangu, six hausman were established to train young men on how to detect people practising sorcery and kill them,’’ a villager said.
Bogia police station commander Chief Sgt Sawaer Adolf said the bodies of the four were mutilated.
Tension in the area forced polling officials to withdraw to Bogia station.
Another team of officials had to withdraw from covering the inland Almami LLG villages of Murusepa, Wadagina and Sereken because of fear of being attacked.