By Miriam Zarriga in Port Moresby
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape has sent his condolences to the family of the policeman killed in Hela province.
He called on the suspects to surrender and for witnesses to assist police with their investigation into the killing of Senior Constable Nelson Kalimda.
“I call upon all persons with information to come out. Arrests must be made to the criminals and the full story behind the officer going missing and [being] killed be established,” Marape said.
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“My sympathies to the wife, children, relatives and rest of the members of the Royal PNG Constabulary.
“We will assist police to bring the criminals to justice. Going forward we will amend laws to bring higher penalties to those who offend [against] police personnel.”
Marape condemned the actions of the criminals.
“If police personnel are not respected, this is not good and police personnel must be given full respect and appreciation by the community.
Drove out by himself
For Hela’s case where the officer drove out by himself without letting his colleagues know and to be found dead a few days later, this demanded a full investigation from police, Marape said.
“I appreciate the Hela provincial government led by Governor Undialu who assisted police with the investigation and location of vehicle and now the body .”
Hela Governor Philip Undialu and Koroba-Kopiago MP William Bando also expressed their sympathies to the family of the dead policeman.
Undialu said:“Hela people and the Hela provincial government are also in grief and share our deepest condolences for this gruesome killing.
“We condemn this animalistic behaviour in the strongest terms possible and appeal to police to come hard on those responsible.
“We have assisted so far and are committed to support the repatriation of the body back to the family and fulfill customary obligation.
‘State of shock’
“We are also committed to ensure that those responsible are captured and face the law.
“The Police Commissioner [David Manning] in his press statement acknowledged our support so far and I assure the family and police force that we are with you in this time of sorrow, grief and state of shock.
“The police located the vehicle but communities identified the culprits and retrieved the body. Hela people will hold a haus krai in Tari and will hand over the body to the family.”
Bando strongly condemned the act and called for an investigation to be carried out to establish the cause and reason for the murder.
He said it was sad losing a life but not all Hela was “at war”, nor were they all responsible for the killing.
Miriam Zarriga is a PNG Post-Courier reporter. Republished with permission.