Five soldiers involved in yesterday’s altercation between the Police and Defence have been apprehended by the Military Police and they are currently detained at the Military Police cell at Murray Barracks.
This was revealed today by PNG Defence Force commander Major General Gilbert Toropo in a joint press conference with the Police Commissioner David Manning.
A very disappointed commander Toropo condemned the actions of the soldiers, while ordering an investigation into the incidents that started from the weekend and boiled over yesterday.
“This action by few members of the PNG Defence Force to go out to the main road and public areas to create and cause fear among our community and people is totally unacceptable.”
“People need to have the trust and confidence in the military force so they can rely on our security and protection,” Toropo said.
Police Commissioner David Manning also revealed that police officers who were involved in assaulting a soldier in uniform during the whole ordeal yesterday have been suspended awaiting internal investigations to be completed.
Manning said this is the initial response whenever an investigation is being carried out on professional misconduct, however if there is an official complaint from the victim, a criminal investigation will be conducted.
“We are not here to defend the actions of our members.”
“We are first to admit that we will provide that leadership to ensure that there is full transparency and accountability in how we deal with the investigation.” Manning said.
Both Manning and Toropo have agreed to conduct internal investigations and take disciplinary actions on officers that were directly involved.
Meanwhile it is understood that the incident started over the weekend when the Police Fox Unit conducted a house search within the Boroko area.
A member of the Fox Unit allegedly assaulted a female in that house who happens to be the wife of a soldier from the Taurama Barracks.
Following the incident on the weekend, the soldier went to Boroko Police Station yesterday to lay a complaint and while he was inside, the confrontation between his men and a group of policemen started outside the station.
This then led to the soldiers disarming the police officers and drove off with the police vehicle to Taurama.
One of the soldiers who fell off the speeding vehicle was apprehended by police and assaulted.
A video footage going viral right now on social media shows police officers kicking the soldier and dragging him onto a vehicle.