Police,vendors clash

National, Normal

The National, Friday 03rd August 2012

A NUMBER of people were injured as betelnut vendors at a popular  market in Port Moresby clashed with police on Wednesday.
Police, reportedly acting on orders from the municipal authority ,convoyed in eight vehicles to the Gordon buai market at about 2pm and ordered the vendors to vacate the area.
A female witness from Sinasina, Chimbu, who did not wish to be named for safety reasons, said the vendors refused to move saying they survived by selling betelnuts.
She said police become irritated and forcefully kicked their tables and removed them.
“Ol bel hat na toromoi ston lon polis (They got upset and threw stones at police),” she said.
Another witness from Koroba, Hela, named Jacob, said police then fired shots into the air to disperse the crowd.
“Mipla planti buai lain lusim moni, buai na smok blo mipela (many of us buai sellers lost our monies, betelnut and smoke),” he said.
He said some people also sustained injuries as they tried to escape from the police.
NCD police operations chief Andy Bawa on Wednesday afternoon denied knowledge of the incident.
“I had my radio on but I did not get a situation report on this,” Bawa said.