Porgera road blocked after shooting of man

Main Stories, National

The National, Wednesday 4th January 2012

ENGA police are monitoring a roadblock in Laiagam put up by locals after the shooting of a young man in Porgera on Christmas Day.
Provincial police commander Supt Martin Lakari said mobile squad 11 from Wabag had been deployed to the site.
Unconfirmed reports said police had allegedly shot a youth from Laia­gam who was in Porgera on Dec 25.
He said the youth’s relatives put up the roadblock and demanded mining company Barrick (PNG) to look into their grievances.
Lakari assured the relatives that those involved in any shooting would be dealt with accordingly.
He called on the relatives to lift the roadblocks and allow travellers to use the road freely.
Lakari said it was not right to resort to violence and condemned the villagers for taking the law into their own hands.
Tipinini-Kairik volun­teer law and order committee coordinator, Nickson Pakea, who was in Porgera station at the time of shooting, said the public witnessed what had happened.
Houses had been burnt by warring clans, and three people lost their lives on Christmas Day in Porgera.
He said leaders and police had ensured peace after an all-out tribal warfare almost broke out.
Because of the death of the young Laiagam man, relatives had been blocking the road since Dec 28 demanding an explanation.

Pakea made a plea to the relatives to remove the roadblock and let the police deal with the matter.
He said the roadblock would affect the operation of the Porgera gold mine.