There were running battles between police and the people of Mwenilondo Village in Karonga District yesterday, after the law-enforcers raided the area to arrest crime suspects.
The suspects, according to Karonga Police spokesperson, George Mulewa, are behind last month’s torching of a house belonging to an elderly couple, which they accused of practising witchcraft.
Irate villagers turned on the law enforcers who went to make arrests, and proceeded to Mwenilondo Roadblock, where they blocked the road.
However, police were quick to respond to the situation.
“We could not let a few lawless individuals disturb business on the road and the peace of other people. As such, we called for extra manpower and used reasonable force to quell the violence,” Mulewa said.
Among other strategies, police used tear gas to disperse the villagers. Two suspects were arrested in the process.
Mulewa bemoaned the tendency of Mwenilondo people, who he accused of fermenting trouble.
“It is unfortunate that the people of Mwenilondo always resort to violence in defence of law-breakers. However, we, as police, are committed to protecting the lives of innocent people as well as property,” Mulewa said.
The publicist said the suspects behind the torching of the elderly couple face three counts of arson, malicious damage to property and theft.
“In addition, those arrested during the scuffle will answer the charge of proposing violence,” Mulewa said.
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