Villagers take law into own hands

National, Normal

VILLAGERS took the law into their own hands last Sunday when they shot dead a young man and a known criminal, in Nipa, Southern Highlands province.
The father, relatives and the villagers told police that they want to see murderers arrested and charged for their actions.
Provincial police commander Supt Jimmy Onopia said yesterday that Lun Heke, 21, of Pulim village, was wanted for a string of offences, including rape, robbery and attempts to killing his own father Heke Lol and uncle Pio Lol .
“Lun Heke was shot dead by his own tribesmen after many warnings for him to stop his bad ways fell on deaf ears,” Nipa-Kutubu district administrator Robin Pip said on Monday.
“His own relatives and community got fed up of the string of crimes and lawlessness he committed in the Nipa area,” Mr Pip said.
Police said he also led a gang to steal K30,000 worth of building materials from another uncle Tol Lol’s warehouse.
Supt Onopia said that Heke had been on the run since Jan after that incident.
Last month, he locked his father in his house and set it on fire.
However, the father broke out of the burning house and had been living in fear since of his own son.
Supt Onopia said that last Friday, Heke attacked his uncle Pio Lol with a bush knife but Lol retaliated and he backtracked. 
He said the final straw was last Sunday when Heke led a group to rape a woman, unfortunately  she was rescued.
“At about 9:45pm on Sunday, unidentified men, believed to be his own relatives, entered the house he was sleeping in and shot him dead at point blank,” Supt Onopia said.
He said Nipa police confirmed the death while detectives from Mendi also went into the area and were investigating the crime scene.
Meanwhile, Mr Pip said youths had been warned by the communities to keep the Mendi-Tari highway free at all times and not to cause any trouble for the public.
He said some months ago, the local community made “citizen arrests of four people” that caused trouble in their community.
Mr Pip said with the lack of police presence, vehicles and logistics in Nipa had forced the locals to own up in addressing lawlessness in their own communities.