The Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery, has said the gunshot which killed one person in the Sampa chieftaincy clash was not fired by the police.
According to him, the shot was fired by aggrieved young men who were heading to the venue where a new Paramount Chief of Sampa was to be installed.
“The person who died was shot by the youth and not the police,” Mr Derry, MP, Nabdam, told Parliament in Accra yesterday.
This clarification was in response to claims by the Member of Parliament for the area, Frederick Yaw Amankwah, that the person died in exchange of fire between the police and the aggrieved youth; a claim the minister disagrees with.
He explained that on November 30, when the new Paramount Chief was to be installed, “the police saw 150 youth (who were headed to the installation ground) and engaged them for two hours. The police was not their target. They were there to prevent the sub chiefs who were coming to the event.”
After two hours of unsuccessful engagement, the youth retreated and started firing, he narrated.
Alarmed by the action of the youth, he said the police were commanded to fire warning shots “only into the air” to disperse the agitated young men.
“So the impact of the warning shots was what dispersed the group ultimately but it left a number of people (10 police officers and 11 civilians) injured,” Mr Dery stated.
That notwithstanding, he said the conduct of the police would be subjected to professional standards to ascertain if all operatives who were in this operation did the right thing.
“The man who has been killed will have a bullet in him. There will be an autopsy and we’ll know which bullet is in him,” the minister said.
He said seven suspects involved in the skirmishes have since been picked up by the police and have seen been remanded to assist into investigations.
Peace, he said, has since returned to Sampa and its environs with people going about their businesses without any hindrance and called on residents of the area to maintain the peace because “peace is a shared responsibility.”
Meanwhile, the MP for the area said when the deceased was gunned down, the police stopped “good samaritans” from attending to him “until he died in his scotchy sun.”
To this end, he wants Parliament to institute a bipartisan independent parliamentary inquiry into the clash and bring culpable to book.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI
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