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17.02.2005 General News

"Police" on rampage, assault innocent civilians

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Takoradi, Feb 17, GNA - Residents of Amanful a suburb of Takoradi were on Tuesday evening alleged to have been assaulted by "Policemen" for what is said to be a revenge for an attack on one of them.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Amanful, some of the residents said they were going about their normal activities when a large number of Policemen wielding sticks besieged the area assaulting anyone on sight including food vendors, pedestrians and the elderly. One of the victims, Steven Tandoh, a 24-year-old sand winner said he had closed and gone round to collect about five million cedis from customers he had supplied sand.

The victim said on his way home he saw many people running helter-skelter but since he did not know what was happening, he stood still.

He said four people in Police uniforms surrounded him and used sticks they were wielding to hit him on the head, knees and hand, which led to profuse bleeding and a broken right wrist.

Mr. Tandoh said his assailants sent him to the Takoradi Central Police Station and placed him in a cell, adding that, he had to call his car owner, one Mr. Bright Moore, to sign bail documents for his release. Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Nana Ekow Yawson, Public Relations Officer of the Service, speaking to the GNA expressed surprise and said the Police Administration had not sent personnel on any operation at Amanful.

"The Western Regional Police Command has not sent anyone to Amanful and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has been tasked to investigate the incident," he said.

ASP Yawson said the CID had been tasked to investigate and find the assailants and the one who sent them to enable the Police Command to respond appropriately.

He said if they were found to be Policemen, they would be prosecuted, adding that, if on the other hand they were civilians, "we would trap them and find out how they got the Police uniforms and prosecute them".

ASP Yawson said after the investigations the Police would send the report to the Attorney Generals' Department for advice. He appealed to victims of the incident to report to the Regional CID for Police statements to be taken.

The PRO stressed that the operation was not sanctioned and cautioned the public not to use the name of the Police for any retaliatory attacks on innocent citizens.

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