Two men are dead while at least 14 other passengers including the driver of a route 100 PMV bus sustained injuries following an armed robbery at Nauru in Madang yesterday.
The Driver of the Bus Joel Muno, said there was a group of armed men that held them up at Nauru mountain along the Ramu Madang highway between 11 and 12pm on Tuesday morning.
Muno said when the two vehicles saw that they were held up by armed men the two vehicles drove back in fear and left the PMV bus.
The men stole everything from the passengers before attacking them.
“ they forced us out, checked everything and then forced us back into the bus, but when I started the vehicle, it rolled backwards into the drain, and the rascals saw that and came back to chase us away … and when we tried driving forward, one of them opened fire”
Bus Owner Alice Banik said there were more than ten armed men that held up the bus.
She said something drastic needs to be done to address the continuous armed hold ups happening along the Ramu Madang Highway.
“…with this issue we are being supported by other bus owners and operators to approach the PPC and authorities , to assure us of the safety of passengers especially when its Christmas, the peak period , with school children and other passengers travelling, so we are meeting with the PPC and authorities, unfortunately the police minister is not here”
The bus owners have raised concerns over the continuous armed robberies along the Madang Highway affecting passengers and bus owners.
This morning a large group of PMV owners, bus drivers and citizens gathered at the Jomba Police station.An irate citizen Uriah Tulah when speaking to PPC Senior Inspector Manzuc Rubiang, claims the highway patrol has not been effectively doing their duties.
“Is the highway patrol performing its duties? If they can patrol this section of the highway …this highway is under your command…answer us, please, these bus drivers are providing a service to our people!”
The frustrated owners say police patrol on the highway is a need given the high number of armed robberies
They have also asked police to make sure of the Highway patrol unit that was allocated by the Usino-Bundi District Authority to monitor such incidents along the highway performs its duties.
Tulah also calling for the local MP to step in “we have approached the Provincial authorities and nothing, we want Jimmy Uguro (Usino-Bundi MP) to come here, to answer to his people .. These are his voters.”
The PMV owners want police to apprehend those suspects involved in the armed robbery incident and had killed two young men.
Provincial Police Commander Senior Inspector Manzuc Rubiang, was on hand to receive the grievances.
“I have limited resources, the points you’ve raised I understand and that is why I am saying, set a date so we can meet with the provincial authorities and leaders and settle these grievances “
Another gathering is planned for Friday by Madang PMV owners Association and they are inviting police, Police Minister Bryan Kramer, Madang Governor, Peter Yama as well as Usino-Bundi MP, Jimmy Uguro to attend.
By Martha Louise – EMTV News, Madang