The National, Tuesday 17th July, 2012
By ZACHERY PER
A 13-YEAR-old boy was shot dead and others were injured by police on the Womai section of the Highlands Highway in Chimbu on Sunday evening.
Chimbu provincial police commander Augustine Wampe confirmed the Wabag-based police mobile squad 11 was confronted by villagers who were trying to loot a truck.
Supt Wampe said in the process, shots were fired, killing the 13-year-old primary school student.
Others injured were admitted to the Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Kundiawa General Hospital.
Staff at the hospital confirmed admitting the injured Womai villagers but did not disclose how many were admitted and the extent of their injuries.
Wampe said he had contacted Assistant Commissioner Police Highlands region Teddy Tei to assign external independent police investigators to investigate the shootings.
He said appropriate actions would be taken according after the independent investigation to be conducted by officers not based in the province.
“A truck owned by East West Transport trucking firm went off the road between 5pm and 6pm on Sunday evening and that attracted the villagers to loot its containers.
“However, the police unit arrived at the scene at the same time the incident occurred,” he said.
Wampe said he personally went to the scene where a major roadblock was set up by angry relatives of the boy and those injured.
He was accompanied by members of the Kundiawa police task force and PNG Defence Force soldiers in the province on election security duties.
“We appealed to the villagers to clear the roadblock and allow normal traffic flow to continue. They set up the roadblock in the morning but when we addressed them they understood and cleared it for normal traffic flow to continue,” Wampe said.
He thanked the leaders of Womai area for taking control of the situation and for allowing common sense to prevail.