Some residents of Joma, a suburb of Ablekuma, on Tuesday hooted away some police officers accusing them of being highhanded during a peaceful civilian protest.
The police were there to quell a protest against a construction firm following the death of a baby as a result of constant blasting from the quarry’s operations.
The residents massed up in front of Construction Pioneers (CP) burning tyres and demanding the relocation of the quarry.
Their agitation was prompted by rumors that a woman who was hit by particles of stones from the company’s blasting had died together with her baby.
According to the Odorkor District Police Commander, Supt. Abraham Acquaye, the baby, who was hit by particles from the blasting died instantly but the mother and another passerby survived with minor injuries.
“It was yesterday around 5:00pm that we had an SOS call from members of the community that CP was under siege by some aggrieved people within the community. So we deployed our men to come and ascertain the cause of the rumpus and to salvage the situation. And our investigation revealed that the company conducted one of their periodic exercises which they do with the help of the police. During that explosion I understand that a certain woman who was passing by with the baby girl strapped behind here was caught up in the crossfire and the baby died instantly after one of the particles hit her. The woman also fell to the ground as well as a motor rider who also sustained injuries in the process. They woman and the motor rider were sent to the Police Hospital and were treated and discharged”.
“So the police were deployed here to maintain law and order. But this morning there was a rumor that the mother who was sent to the Hospital had also passed on; and this information angered residents of the community who started burning tyres and even attempted to cause mayhem at the office of the construction firm”.
The residents insist the company must be relocated, citing several instances of havoc caused by blasting from the quarry.
Aside the burning of tyres across the road to the factory, the protest was being conducted peacefully, as the Odorkor District Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Abraham Acquaye, engaged in a dialogue with both the leadership of the residents and the company.
Odorkor District Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Abraham Acquaye
However, an exaggerated radio report on the development, prompted reinforcement from the formed police unit, FPU, which reportedly opened fire on arrival.
Two bullets hit a private car in the process; an incident that infuriated the residents to demand a withdrawal of the reinforcement team.
The departure of the team eventually restored sanity to allow for further dialogue.
Chief Superintendent Abraham Acquaye appealed to the residents to remain calm as the police leads a dialogue between the parties to ensure peaceful co-existence between the company and the community.