Papua New Guinea
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Korak community want Kanda police to be disbanded

According to the victim’s family members and the community, this was not the first time that the so-called Kanda police have killed, abused and harassed an innocent person in the Bogia District of Madang Province.

The youths of Korak recounted the countless number of times that these officers would stop them in the middle of the road to harass, bully, assault or even hurl obscenities at them, and most of the time it was whilst under the influence of alcohol.

“Planti taim, mipla sindaun, wokabaut o wok long sait long rot, bai ol kam stop na mekim nabaut long mipla. Ol save paitim mipla o bamim mipla long kar blong ol na tok kainkain long mipla. Mipla les pinis long displa kain pasin. Gavman mas rausim ol,” the youths said.

The family spokesperson for young Reinheart, condemned the killing, stating that it was about time, something had been done about this unit of police. The spokesperson wants to see that the unit be disbanded or other monitory measures and further training be given to them upon engagement.

“They are not supposed to be carrying or using any firearms. But here (Bogia), it seems normal for these kanda police officers to seen with arms. This must stop, or the Constabulary has to look into extending their training period (six months) so that they are educated about the Constitution, their conduct and code of ethics,” stated a spokesperson.

Story from families and community members say that Reinhart was gardening with his wife and two kids. They headed down to Kumil River to bathe before going home. The wife and kids had left him to finish bathing, it was around 5 pm-6 pm.

A group of boys who usually guard a construction company’s work site beside the Kumil Bridge were also there, sewing sago thatch leaves, a few kilometers above the river.

It was then, the police vehicle officers went down and chased the boys sewing the sago leaves. They ran in all directions, some heading down the river which had brushes and reeds, whilst others ran across the bridge.

According to witnesses who told the villagers, Reinheart heard that it was a police chase so, still in the river, raised both his hands up and was shouting and asking the boys running above the bridge if the police had gone. Reinheart had his back turned from the reeds, which was where the officers approached from. (Gunshots) They shot him from behind.

The motive of the police chase is unknown, as a few rumours said the boys swore the officers as they were passing through and they mistakenly shot Reinheart thinking he was one of the boys from the bridge. Family and community members refute the statement made earlier by police about drugs and yet another rumour about a tussle over the gun between the victim and the officers, resulting in Reinheart being shot.

According to the Police, one of the offenders is a regular police officer while the other is a reserve. The two were transported back to Madang town by the Internal Investigation Unit for processing and further investigations regarding the incident.

This move was to show the grieving family and community members that no one was above the law and if they are found guilty, they will be charged accordingly.

In addition to that, this would also calm the situation and tension in the community, by having them removed from duties, as stated by Station Commander Dickson Koliadi, on-site during their apprehension and transporting to Madang’s Jomba Police Station.

The killing had caused a string of lawless activities within Korak village over the weekend, however, normalcy has returned after the situation was taken care of by Police on Monday, 24th July.