By Vasinatta Yama – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Two Hagen Park Secondary School Grade 10 students were arrested on Wednesday and are still in Police custody after a riot, allegedly started by students and the public, escalated.
Hagen Park Secondary School Principal, Tony Buldung, told EMTV News that the public are blaming his students for all the damages caused in the city. But Buldung says, opportunists were responsible.
Western Highlands Provincial Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Martin Lakari, also confirmed the incident and the arrest, but said Hagen had returned to normalcy today.
Mr Buldung told EMTV News that on Wednesday, students were sent home at around 2pm.
He said at that instance, the public was already frustrated at pictures they saw on social media about the confrontation between the police and UPNG students, and were looking for ways to release their frustrations.
When the public saw Hagen Park students going out of the school gate, Buldung said they joined the students by throwing stones, targeting government offices. These included the police station, court house, and other government buildings.
Buldung also said that yesterday some property owners confronted him, intending to disturb the Grade 10 National Written Expression Exam, but he managed to send them away.
The Western Highlands Provincial Education board has suspended classes for Thursday and Friday, and students will return to classes next Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Mt Hagen National Court has been suspended for an indefinite time, since yesterday, after it was badly damaged.
The Mt Hagen PPC, Martin Lakari confirmed that Hagen is back to normal, and there is heavy police presence on the ground.