After a shooting in the Sugapa District on 15 February resulted in the death of a military (TNI) member, the TNI conducted multiple raids around the village of Mamba chasing after members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) who were named as the perpetrators of the shooting.
During the search a young man named Janius Bagau, 26, was shot in the left arm during a raid in the Village of Amaesiga (see foto on top, source: JPIC Kingmi Papua). He was evacuated to the Bilogai Health Center in Yokatapa Village, Sugapa District. Two of Janius Bagau’s brothers named Yustinus Bagau, 20, and Sony Bagau,16, accompanied him to the medical facility.
Later in the evening, TNI members came to the health centre and reportedly interrogated the three young men. The soldiers beat Janius, Yustinus and Sony Bagau inside the health centre until the three men died due to the injuries they sustained during the torture. Their bodies were buried the following day in Tambabuga, Bilogai village. After the incident, dozens of villagers from the affected areas fled to Bilogai in fear of further repressive acts by security force members (see photo below, source: Suara Papua).
According to the Papuan media outlet Jubi, the head of the public relations department of the Joint Regional Defense Command III (Kogabwilhan III), Colonel Suriastawa, declared that all victims were associated with an armed criminal group that had often carried out attacks on the community and security forces in Sugapa. According to Suriastawa, the incident occurred as TNI members pursued the perpetrator responsible for the killing of Ginanjar Arianda, a member of the R 400 / BR Yonif Task Force. He claimed that the alleged perpetrator (who later became known as Janius Bagau) attempted to escape arrest, so the team opened fire at him after warning shots and calls to return were ignored.
Suriastawa also declared that Janius Bagau was visited by two of his colleagues while receiving treatment at the Health Center. The three men allegedly attacked his men and attempted to seize weapons from the joint military-police apparatus guarding the health centre. A subsequent brawl resulted in the death of the three Papuans, explained Suriastawa.
Meanwhile, TPN PB Spokesperson, Sebby Sambom, declared the three killed villagers were not members of the TPN PB, but civilians.