More than 3,000 protest against petty crimes and illegal street vendors

By Scott Waide – EMTV News, Lae

Lae police have continued to maintain a close watch over the last three hours as more than 3,000 protestors marched from the Bumayong, Backroad and Malahang areas to the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium.

The predominantly Morobean crowd gathered this morning following a call by Morobe Governor, Kelly Naru, to assemble at the stadium to air their grievances over the rise in petty crimes and harassment throughout the city. 

Much of the blame has been leveled against illegal street vendors who have, in many instances, harassed women and young girls.

Yesterday, police and provincial leaders diffused tensions by speaking to various groups who had assembled in Top Town, Chinatown and Eriku. 

Despite their efforts, five people were injured.  A man who was reported as being critically injured yesterday died in the early hours of this morning.

Relatives of the deceased blocked off the Five Mile section of the Lae-Nadzab Highway in protests. 

Police responded and tried to negotiate the removal of the barricade, but after vehicles were pelted with rocks, they fired shots into the air and dispersed the crowd and cleared the roadblock.

Businesses and schools remain closed as protestors gather at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium.

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