Kenilorea queries use of tear gas in village raid

Peter Kenilorea Jnr
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MEMBER of Parliament for East Are Are, Peter Kenilorea has raised concerns on the police raid that reported traumatized old people and children at Bethel village, East Fataleka yesterday morning.

According to Malaita Province Development Forum, the Police Response Team arrived around 4am to 5am on their fast craft and four other speed boats.

They made the early morning raid with the intention to capture Knoxly Atu, believed to be behind the riot in Honiara last year.

It was reported that members of the PRT entered the village and used tear gas guns to shoot at the villagers and their houses.

The report said that a number of very old people and children nearly lost their lives due to the effect of the tear gas and other explosives used during the raid.

The villagers of Betel fought off the PRT team and chased them out from their village.

The villagers have met in the morning and said that they will be seeking answers from the Police and the Government on this unprovoked raid.

Kenilorea said while a “police operation is a police operation” how this was conducted was “concerning”.

“I don’t know in history that tear gas was used against a village.

“There are other options than the use of tear gas,” he said.

Kenilorea said it seems the country is entering another phase in terms of policing.

“I am sure there have been operational standards.

“It is a sad day that tear gas was used to shot at a village,” he added.

Opposition Leader, Mathew Wale said they don’t condone or nor support violence or criminality and the law must take its course.

“So, if people who are alleged to commit offence, we have a judicial system that works fairly well.

“They have rights and charge them well and obviously court will find them. This is issue is important to ventilate through court,” he added.