WHP man dies in clash by supporters

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday July 18th, 2012

STREET fighting in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands between supporters of candidates has led to another election-related death on Monday.
It is understood two factions supporting candidates from the Tambul-Nebilyer electorate were involved in a confrontation at the Queens Park.That turned nasty as supporters came in groups, attacking each other with stones and bush knives.Security forces quickly intervened to stop the fight but a man was killed and his body was placed in the Mt Hagen Hospital morgue.Provincial police commander Kaiglo Ambane confirmed the death but could not say whether the man had been gunned down by security forces or stoned to death by rivals.Ambane said details of the incident would be released once investigations had been finalised.
But people at the scene alleged security forces had shot at the man who died after sustaining pellet wounds on the upper part of his body.Several attempts to get confirmed comments from ACP Teddy Tei were unsuccessful yesterday.Danny Gonol, a candidate from the Tambul-Nebilyer area who is contesting the provincial seat, condemned the killing.Gonol, a lawyer, alleged security forces had gunned the man down.
He said too many people had died at the hands of law-enforcing agencies.
He said if security forces had killed the man as alleged, they had gone against the law as the forces had sworn an oath to protect lives and property.“What they should have done is disperse the crowd, arrest and charge, and not kill because they have a duty to protect lives,” he said.
He called for investigations to continue and for law breakers to face justice.