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Govt calls for calm as residents turn against Asians over killing of pupil

Govt has called for calm as after residents in Lango Sub-region turned against foreign investors in the area following the death of a one Okello Dickens,11, at the hands of two Indian nationals. (FILE PHOTO)

KOLE –  Government has called for calm as after residents in Lango Sub-region turned against foreign investors in the area following the death of an 11-year-old boy at the hands of two Indian nationals.

Dickens Okello, 11, a pupil of Alito Primary School in Alito Sub-county, Kole District, died last Friday after he was allegedly chased and strangled by the two Indians.

Since Monday, all business premises owned by Asians have been closed after about 50 street children reportedly went on rampage that Monday demanding that each of the 50 shops owned by the Indians should contribute Shs1 million to help them mourn the Kole deceased’s child.

Lira Resident District Commissioner Milton Odongo on Wednesday issued a statement on behalf of government following the unfortunate death of the child in Kole District.

“On behalf of the government, I regret the sudden death of an 11-year-old boy (Okello Dickens), a school pupil of Alito Primary School in Kole District on 9th November 2018 by suspected two Asians,” Mr. Odongo said.

“The government security agencies are professionally handling the matter and the suspects will soon appear in court if found guilty. The above actions by the two suspected Asians is isolated and people should not generalize all the Indians community in Lira (Lango) as bad people,” he added.

The RDC said no any person or group of people should take law in their hands using the incident to cause insecurity, loot/robe the properties (shops, supermarkets, hardware, etc.) of the Asians and other members of the business community in Lira Town or any part of Lango.

“Security (police) have been heavily deployed to patrol the town with very strong directives to arrest any suspected criminals who want to loot/robe or cause threats to lives and properties of the business community in Lira Town. I strongly cautioned the public, local leaders (radio presenters/callers) from incitement of inflammatory statement that makes the public feel that the situation is out of control,” he added.

The warning came after residents and local leaders accused police in Kole District of allegedly forging a post-mortem report with intent to save the two Indian nationals accused of killing the pupil.

Police said the post-mortem examination conducted by their pathologist, Dr. Francis Olwa, indicated that 11-year-old Dickens Okello, a pupil of Alito Primary School in Alito Sub-county, died of heart-related complications.

However, Dr Richard Nam, the prime minister of Lango Cultural Foundation, said they do not believe in the police post-mortem report because the deceased appears to have been strangled.

“During the post-mortem, I was in the room together with Dr Francis Olwa [police pathologist] as he carried out the post-mortem. The deceased’s neck was turned round with blood in his eyes,” Dr. Nam said on Monday.

Dr Nam added that another post-mortem conducted by government pathologists in Kampala on Monday indicated that there was a blood clot in the deceased’s neck.

Okello, a Primary Three pupil, was found dead near the school premises at around 4 pm as the pupils returned home from school on Friday. It is reported the deceased was with his friends when the two Indian nationals, who were driving a white Toyota Ipsum, lured them with biscuits.

According to a witness, the suspects, now under custody at Kole Central Police Station, also offered the children Shs2,000. But when the children reportedly refused and ran away. The suspects allegedly chased after them, pounced on Okello and allegedly strangled him. Following the incident, the two suspects allegedly sped off but were immediately arrested by the residents and later handed over to police.

A charge of murder has been preferred against them.

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