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POLICE CALL FOR LOCALS TO ASSIST

By Bradley Mariori

Morobe Rural Police Commander Superintendent David Warap said that a few weeks ago, a group of men who allegedly are a cult group were confronted by the villagers and a man from the group was killed by the villagers.

“During the confrontation, the group also killed a man from the village and refused to set free some young women that the they took in as their followers.

“This resulted in a confrontation that led to the deaths from both sides,” said Supt Warap.

 According to Warap, the leader of the group (name withheld) was alleged to have demanded from the villagers K100, 000 and a girl as compensation for the death of his man.

The incident happened at Gumia village, Leron Wantoat in Markham district over a week ago and police have since gone into the area to do arrests, but the members of the group have dispersed into smaller groups and have gone into hiding since.

Warap said, “there were a total of 13 members of the group and one was killed, the group then allegedly kidnapped three young women from the village and took off with them into hiding.

“The group may have gone into hiding after learning that police are going after them. I am appealing to the locals there to provide information of their whereabouts so that police could go in and arrest them.”

The group formation started in March this year, after three men from Arawec village arrived in Gumia village and told the people that they were religious a group trying to help the people spiritually. 

“When they recruited four young women into the group, which police alleged that they (women) were subjected to sexual abuse, the villagers put up resistance against the group on July 12 which resulted in the two deaths.”

Supt Warap further urged Markham and Nawaeb district development authorities to assist police and the villagers as he claimed the villagers have gone into hiding in the bushes after the demand for compensation from the group’s leader was issued to them.

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