The National, Friday November 1st, 2013
By ADAM MERA
LITTLE was achieved in the mediation for peace over the alleged rape of a five-year-old girl which drew the attention of the nation.
Disgruntled relatives of the girl refused the K6,000 given as “belkol” money by Western Highlanders, saying it was insufficient and did not properly compensate for injuries – both physically and psychologically – that the minor suffered.
The “belkol” money was to be exchanged for a 25-seater bus and house used for the alleged crime.
The National witnessed the mediation which was overseen by the NCD mediation committee at the Waigani Police Station yesterday.
The father of the minor from Enga said the girl was raped by a man with the help of four other men and a woman- all of whom hail from Western Highlands.
Police confirmed arresting the suspects who are detained at the Boroko cells.
The father of the girl said his daughter went missing midday last Thursday from an aunt’s house at Gerehu Stage 5 last Thursday at about 12pm and returned to the aunt’s house – without the help of anyone the next day when she escaped from her captors.
“The main suspect used money to lure the girl into a waiting 25-seater-bus and she was driven around the city with the five male suspects. They were consuming alcohol while driving around,” the father said.
“It was during this time that she endured her ordeal.
“Because she passed out as a result of her ordeal, she was taken to a house at Gerehuat Stage 6 where she was revived and put to sleep.”
The father claimed that since the suspects had drank alcohol, they overslept the next day, giving the girl the opportunity girl to escape. The father said the minor, being familiar with Gerehu, made her way to her aunt’s house where she alerted her aunt and uncle.
Engans and Western Highlanders turned out in numbers at the mediation but could not find common ground.
Addressing the mediation committee, the father of the girl said they had not harmed the suspects and or properties as they believed that law should take its course.
“But in a society like ours, compensation must be paid and the K6,000 is not enough.”
He said they would continue to consult with the mediation committee to set another date where the matter could be further deliberated on.
The father appealed to police to investigate the matter thoroughly.