Soldiers: Arrest student inciters too

PORT MORESBY - The three students who started the incident at the Port Moresby General Hospital and other students who joined in to fight with soldiers should also be identified, suspended and arrested by police.

That is from Taurama soldiers who released a statement Thursday saying whilst the public has been led to believe that soldiers caused the whole incident, the incident would never have occurred if those two students alleged to have been drunk with the support of others who joined in to bash up their comrades who were in full uniform, were identified and handed over to police at that time.

The soldiers in a statement said at 9pm on Friday, 12 July 2013, two uniformed soldiers were attending to an emergency (soldier’s son) being rushed to the 3 Mile hospital. Whilst there, an argument erupted between the two soldiers and three medical students who were allegedly intoxicated.

The three students had bypassed mothers and other male clients who were waiting patiently for their turn to use the ATM at the Port Moresby General Hospital.

The two duty soldiers were present and intervened to advice the intoxicated students, that their actions or conduct was selfish and not professional.

This angered the students who started saying provocative words and swore at the soldiers. The two then started fighting with the students. The three students ran to their faculty and regrouped and came back to where the soldiers were and bashed the uniformed soldiers resulting in one of the soldiers sustaining a broken nose.

The two soldiers escaped and went to the faculty gate and reported the matter to the duty Uni-force guards. The guards assured the two soldiers that the students would be identified and tomorrow (Saturday) and the matter would be settled at the campus with the presence of the two soldiers.

By Saturday afternoon the three students were yet to be identified. These angered the soldiers who wanted to retaliate but were advised not to and were assured by Major Ikau, OC Military Police, Uni-Force Commander, Hohola Police Routine Patrol officers and the 2 SRC reps that the students have been identified and both parties were to report to the Hohola Police Station at 10am for settlement.

A formal complaint was also lodged at the Hohola Police Station OB No-257/7. Then on Sunday 14 July 2013, the soldiers proceeded to Hohola Police Station to solve the matter. On the way to Hohola Police Station, they stopped at 3 Mile to confirm with the duty guards on whether the students involved have gone to Hohola. In that five minutes stop, some students at the main gate took pictures of the soldiers with their cell phones; this provoked the soldiers to confiscate the phones which were smashed.

This didn’t go down well with the students who started hauling missiles (sticks, stones, metal pipes and other hard objects) which broke the rear vision mirror of the soldiers’ truck and left 3 soldiers wounded with many who sustained injuries.

Because they were outnumbered and injured they returned to Taurama. Upon seeing their comrades with bruises and blood stains and true to their creed as soldiers, they stood together.

When in uniform soldiers, police and the other disciplined forces require respect and obedience from civilians.

As for the students of the medical faculty, they as educated elites should have been mindful of their act of retaliation when approached by the soldiers and were thus regarded as hostile or rebels without due respect for the Queens insignia (the uniform).

The soldiers concluded that a military investigation is currently underway to determine the root cause of the rampage but at least their side of the story should also be told. [IslandBusiness]
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