Source: Tempo Interactive
Four civilians of Bogobaida District, Paniai, were shot by Paniai Regional Police’s Mobile Brigade (Brimob) on the night of May 15, at around 20.00 pm local time. “It’s true, four were shot. They attacked the police first. Our officers acted in self defense.” Head of Paniai Regional Police (Polres). Adjutant Sr Commissioner Antonius Diance confirmed on May 16.
According to Antonius, the bodies of the four, identified as ML, AL, AM and LK, had been evacuated to Nabire and returned to their families.
The police is still combing the scene. “We are also questioning the officers. I will give the official statement later. If our officers are found to have performed any misconduct, they will be probed and sanctioned,” Antonius said.
The incident began when the four residents caused commotion in a residential area in Bogobaida district, prompting the police to mobilize the mobile brigade to secure the location. However, the police’s presence further incensed the victims who launched attacks on the police using sharp objects and billiard cue sticks. “Our officers fired shot after they were attacked,” Antonius said.
The condition in Bogobaida has now returned to normal, he added. “But we are still on alert against undesirable situation, hoping that the residents are not provoked (by the incident).”
Thobias Bogubau, Chairman of Wolani Moni and Mee Tribe Intellectual Alliance in Paniai, deplored the shooting. “We urged the police to withdraw its forces from Paniai. Such incidents recur time and again and this can create conflicts between the police and the locals,” he warned. He added that the security apparatus always resort to violence in resolving issues. “We demand harsh punishment for the shooters.”