Soldiers Assault Police On Duty
5/12/2012 9:17:14 AM -
Inspector General of Police - Mr Paul Tawiah Quaye About eight soldiers allegedly beat three policemen and a community protection assistant of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) while they were on duty directing traffic in Tamale last Friday to avenge two incidents in which the police had assaulted soldiers.
It took a warning shot from a policeman on guard duties at a nearby bank to save his colleagues from further brutalities at the hands of the irate soldiers who attacked the policemen at the Tamale Market Square Intersection near the STC Yard.
The victims — Constable Felix Apana, Lance Corporal Doris Asante and Lance Corporal Gladys Mensah — who were rushed to the Tamale Teaching Hospital, have since been treated and discharged. However, the community protection assistant, Abdul-Fatawu Musah, whose condition has been described as critical, is still on admission.
The incident, which occurred about 4 p.m. last Friday, created a panic situation in the Tamale Central Business District, compelling traders and bystanders to run helter-skelter. There was also traffic congestion on the roads as motorists scampered for right of passage.
According to an eyewitness account, the soldiers, who were about eight, parked their military vehicle at a nearby spot and in Rambo style jumped out and ran to the middle of the intersection where the victims were directing traffic and pounced on them.
No arrest has been made so far.
The Northern Regional Crime Officer, DSP Mahama Arhin, said about two weeks ago a soldier who was in mufti parked his motorbike in the middle of the road to engage a civilian motorist in a brawl.
According to him, when a policeman went to the scene to ensure order, the soldier, whose name was not given, slapped the policeman but the policeman reacted by hitting the soldier with his phone. The soldier was later invited to the MTTU for questioning.
The crime officer said the matter was subsequently resolved between the high commands of the police and the military.
DSP Arhin claimed that during a route march by some military personnel through some principal streets of Tamale last Friday, some of them threatened to deal with the police.
He said later in the evening of the same day, the soldier who had earlier been involved in that misunderstanding with the policeman led his colleagues to beat the victims.
The crime officer described the situation as “very bad and most unfortunate”.
He said his outfit would for now cease further collaboration with the military on any special missions and duties in the region till a settlement had been reached.
For its part, the military alleged that the police had, for some time now, been mistreating military men in traffic.
It claimed that a couple of days before the incident, a military officer had been assaulted by the police at the same spot for an alleged traffic offence.
According to a military source who declined to give his name, “our mandate is, among others, to protect the territorial boundaries of the state and also support civil authorities such as the police in maintaining law and order”.
“However some few police officers are trying to destroy this mutual understanding and co-operation that exists between us,” he further claimed.