Women deny sending husbands to fight


Ninety-eight (98) women from Piwa village, outside Tari town in Hela, have pleaded not guilty to charges of provocation of violence.
They appeared for mention on Friday at the Tari District Court after they were arrested last Tuesday in a combined police and PNG Defence Force raid.
Provincial police commander Martin Lakari said yesterday that their case was adjourned to Feb 21 for trial. They were agranted a K100 court bail each.
Lakari said the women, from the Erebe clan, were among 215 women arrested by security forces for forcing their husbands to go and fight.
Lakari said the women pushed their men after Toria clansmen killed one of their men in a land dispute.
He said the Erebe clansmen, who had also stolen a police rifle, went and killed four men from Toria in retaliation.
Lakari said the two clans fought last month but the peace and good order committee stopped it, with preventive orders not to fight again.
He said security forces went in last Tuesday and arrested the women for breaching the peace by pushing their husbands to fight.
Lakari said these women adopted a new culture where they all wore red clothes, painted their faces with red paint and armed themselves with small pocket knives. During the mourning, they put pressure on their husbands to fight and take revenge over the death.