Vendors take legal action over market closure

National, Normal

THE  closure of Suyan market in Porgera, Enga province, last year by Porgera-based policemen has forced affected vendors to claim more than K1 million from the State.
The sellers alleged that the police had forcefully closed down the market for no good reason.
The closure resulted in tonnes of their food crops and bags of betelnut becoming spoiled.
These goods were transported from as far as Lae, Madang and Mt Hagen, they said.
More than 50 affected sellers travelled to Mt Hagen, Western Highlands province, last week to file court proceedings at the National Court against the police and
the State to claim damages and losses totalling more than K1 million.
According to their statement of claim on May 2 last year, a group of uniformed policemen drove to the market in two vehicles and raided the market, destroying food crops and bags
of betelnut as well as other store items that were put on sale at that time.
They alleged that during the commotion, opportunists and looters rushed in and stole most of their goods.
Hagen-based Paulus Dowa Lawyers confirmed that 52 affected sellers, mostly from Enga, Western Highlands and Southern Highlands provinces, who lived and conducted
their business in Porgera, had filed a court summons against the police and the State to pursue legal proceedings on the matter.
Paulus Dowa Layers have written to  Police Commissioner Gari Baki advising him of the legal action sought by the affected people.
The law firm also senttheir statements of claims. 
They named Porgera police station commander Martin Kelly, Enga provincial police commander Supt Michael Chare, Police Commissioner Gari Baki and the State as defendants in the proceedings.
The affected sellers will be led by Victor Meketa and Francis Karipe as plaintiffs in the proceedings.