BY BENNY GETENG
A YOUTH from Butibam village was brutally attacked and killed by a group of people in the heart of Lae at about 8am last Saturday.
The teenager was confronted by about 20 youths, who attacked him and his friend as they were walking out of the Redison Lodge on 8th Street to the main bus stop area at Top Town near the Wan Jin Wah Supermarket.
The young man and his mate were walking from the club house when his mobile phone was snatched by one of the thugs, and when he called for his phoned to be returned, he was attacked by the mob.
Butibam leaders have expressed anger over the killing and have given police 48 hours to arrest the suspect or they will rid the streets of vendors, even public motor vehicles, until the culprits are caught.
“Enough is enough! We allow people to settle on our land and then they turn around and kill us. We will look at evicting illegal settlements in Lae,” he said.
“All the Ahi tribes are united in the fight to rid the streets of Lae of petty crimes, this includes Kamkumung, Siapaia and Yanga villages, back road and the nearby residences of Lae city,” he said.
Assistant commissioner of police Northern command Peter Guinness was in Butibam village on Sunday afternoon to hear the people’s grievances.
Mr Guinnes said a suspect had been arrested at West Taraka and locked up at the town police station.
“He will provide names of other suspects that police will round up soon,” he said.
Mr Guinness has assured the villagers that police would identify and arrest the other suspects soon.
“Do not take the situation out of control since Lae is your land and I appreciate the leaders allowing the police to do their work to arrest the suspects,” Mr Guinnes said.
He said the Redison lodge will be looked at and the provincial government will be advised to revoke the operating license of the lodge and club.
“We cannot allow the club to continue operating. We will also remove settlements in Lae from Banana block and Mt Lunaman settlement,” Mr Guiness said.
A frustrated Lae MP John Rosso called from Australia and said he will get rid of settlements in Lae.
“I will provide a bulldozer to remove these settlements that are causing crime in Lae,” he said.
Mr Rosso sent his condolences to the family of the youth and vowed to work with police to gather the suspects involved.
As of Sunday afternoon several houses at Banana block along the Bumbu River were burnt down.