Friday, July 17, 2009

Man killed after Origin 3 game

By PATRICK TALU in The National, Papua New Guinea’s No. 1 daily newspaper


A YOUNG man was killed on Wednesday night at Hohola Two in Port Moresby, right after the third State of Origin game.

The deceased, identified as Adrian Joe, 23, from Rarai village, Bereina in Central province, was allegedly killed by a group of Highlanders after a fight erupted between two ethnic groups.

Witnesses yesterday told The National that a commotion started near a tucker shop operated by a Highlander (named), where people had watched the State of Origin game.

On hearing the commotion, a reserve police officer, who lives there, tried to enquire what was going on.

However, he was allegedly assaulted by two drunk relatives of the shop owner.

The witnesses said some youths from the other ethnic group (named) tried to defend the police officer against the shop owner and his wantoks, who subsequently left.

However, it was alleged that a few minutes later, the shop owner retuned with his mob and retaliated, ransacking homes, chopping down trees and chasing people.

The 23-year-old man, who was among the onlookers, tried to run away to his house just 100m from the scene but was chased and slashed.

The severely wounded man was taken to the accident and emergency ward at Port Moresby General Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

The National saw that the body had sustained multiple knife wounds.

Neighbours who viewed the body yesterday described the killing as “barbaric”.

The reasons for the fight were not clear.

Witnesses said the commotion began right after the game.

It was believed that drunken supporters of the losing Queensland team were involved.

Three weeks ago, four people died after watching the second State of Origin game.

They included Dei MP Puri Ruing’s son and a relative, with both university students aged 21.

Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare condemned a similar State of Origin-related killing.

Sir Michael said he was ashamed of the behaviour of the people when it came to State of Origin games.

Police yesterday apprehended a man and locked him up at the Boroko cell block.

The police forensic team is continuing with gathering evidence at the crime scene.

Attempts to get comments from NCD metropolitan commander Supt (Operations) Andy Bawa were unsuccessful.

Metropolitan commander Supt Fred Yakasa is believed to be out of town.

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