Policeman faces infanticide charges

SIX police officers based in Ramu Sugar have been slapped with multiple charges and suspended from duties.
One of the officers, who is said to be a senior officer, has since absconded and is facing an additional charge for infanticide.
Police officers from Madang’s criminal investigations division were still investigating the matter, however their preliminary findings were that the alleged incident happened while this policeman was drunk. 
Police reports indicated that the officer, said to be from Bogia District, got into a heated argument with one of his colleague’s wife, who was five months pregnant at the time
It is yet to be established what had triggered the argument, but the incident had happened while the woman’s husband was away on official duties, and had proved fatal after the cop had pushed the woman onto the ground.
The woman is understood to have been hospitalised after the incident which also resulted in her losing her baby.
Madang Provincial Police Commander Chief Superintendent Sylvester Kalaut said the incident was very serious, and pending completion of investigations, the officer might be charged with infanticide.
Meanwhile, Chief Supt Kalaut said the six officers were suspended last week and after an incident which is said to have been sparked from a recent decision he made not only to pull back a vehicle belonging to the town’s rapid response unit (taskforce) but also to disband the unit there.
He said the six had consumed alcohol and confronted the Ramu police station’s second-in-charge. 
Supt Kalaut said the six men are alleged to have assaulted him, issued threats against the officer and members of his family.
Chief Supt Kalaut said the Ramu command was stripped of this vehicle after it was stonned by some students alleged to be from Divine Word University.
Investigations following that incident showed that the vehicle had at the time been driven by an unlicensed police officer.
He said the officer concerned had been fined K700 and had been disciplined.
Chief Supt Kalaut said he had decided to disband the unit at Ramu for this and other reasons.
This included a break down in command and control and the fact that many of the police core functions including public safety, prosecutions had been neglected because the limited manpower had been absorbed by the unit.
“There is no need for Ramu to have a task force unit. All have been of the opinion that this should be a permanent section there but this has only resulted in the depletion of the limited manpower and break down in control and command because there are no officers around,” Supt Kalaut said.
“The creation of this unit has also resulted in many officers staying away too long and at the expense of the other critical functions required by the command there.
“It is for this reason I made this decision to disband it and apparently it was not taken to well and now we have six police men, five of whom have already been charged while one other has absconded.”
He said of the six, four have been slapped with four charges each while two (including the one who is alleged to have absconded to Bogia) faced nine charges.
They are expected to appear before the Gusap Sub-District Court on Wednesday.
Supt Kalaut said he would not tolteate such actions by his men.

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