Monday, February 09, 2009

Father and son burnt alive on suspecion of sorcery


A father and son suspected of sorcery were burnt to death at Ban village, just a few kilometres outside Mt Hagen city yesterday afternoon, The National reports.

Police said the suspects were believed to be men from the local community.

Mt Hagen duty policemen visited the crime scene after being alerted via mobile phone by other locals and confirmed seeing the corpses of the two victims.

The policemen tried to bring in reinforcements from other police units in the city in an effort to take the corpses to hospital for autopsy, but were denied access to the crime scene by heavily armed locals.

A policeman, who managed to visit the scene earlier, said the incident happened about 4pm when the villagers from the local tribe (named) suspected the father and the son of being behind the alleged sorcery death of a prominent person in the community earlier.

The policeman said the locals believed that the only way to remove the “evil spirit” in the two was to burn them alive.

He said the old man was shot and then thrown into the fire.

The policeman said the son, who was in the house with his wife, was also dragged out after the house was set on fire and burnt alive.

He said the son’s wife, who is believed to be from Nebilyer and had no part in the alleged sorcery, managed to escape.

Locals identified the father as 60-year-old Plak Mel Doa, while the son was identified as Anis Dua, both of Ban village and belonging to the Moge Kimininga tribe in Mt Hagen.

Police said they would return today with the police criminal investigations (CID) detectives and an ambulance to collect the corpses for autopsy.

Local police authorities could not be reached for comments last night.

Sorcery-related killings had become common in the Highlands and calls have been made for tougher penalties.

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