Suspects remanded as father still in coma

A father is now fighting for life after allegations that he was badly assaulted by an angry mob behind Chuan Store in Tagabe on Wednesday early in the morning.

Police confirmed two members of the group have surrendered and investigations are continuing.

Freddy Bong and Seru Bong have been remanded yesterday amid high police security outside the Magistrates Court charging with intentional assault.

Joseph Ramawi, the father of four was lying unconscious and was only found lying beside the Chuan Store the next day after the attack, before he was rushed to the hospital.

Police have appealed to the public to assist in identifying more suspects connected in this attack.

A CCTV video footage also went viral on Facebook showing three people assaulting Ramawi behind Chuan Store enhancing tension within the Tanna community as of Wednesday.

The footage confirmed that there were more than three people on the scene at the time and they were searching his pockets before they badly assaulted him.

There were allegations that one of the alleged assailants had used stone against the victim and police had collected all those evidences as court’s exhibits.

Police also had to provide security within the Tanna and Ambrym Community in Tagabe as part of the operation.   

Chief Tahu Noal had to rush to Tagabe to stop the Tannese taking the matter further.

Chief Noal said that tension is still high and both parties have to remain calm and let the matter dealt with by the police.

Noal who was so instrumental in the current ‘peace situation’ said that this situation was going from bad to worse and was about to turn ugly when he intervened.

He said that the situation could lead to another ‘Tanna - Ambrym’ fight that has been resolved in high level custom among the chiefs from the two islands back in 2007.

Close relatives and families were seen in numbers on Wednesday until yesterday in Vila Central Hospital (VCH) giving the victim company in this critical time.

This week Acting Police Commissioner, Lieutenant Colonel Bongran Kalshem called on the chiefs of the two islands to remain calm and let the police deal with the issue after the victim was found in a life-threatening condition.

He also appealed to the remaining people involved in the alleged attack to report to the police.

Meanwhile, ever since the incident,  the victim's condition continues to  deteriorate and families were planning to have him flown overseas for further medical attention.

Sources said that the Bongs told the police that the victim threw the first punch before they assaulted him – Police is still investigating the issue.

Mr Bongran has confirmed the issue will be dealt with by the police and people involved will be prosecuted.

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