Police in North Western Province have arrested 17 people in connection to the burning down of Mufumbwe Police Station yesterday.

Giving an update on the development, provincial police commissioner Auxencio Daka said several suspected criminals ran away during the fracas that left more than six vehicles burnt and all police documents destroyed.

“The background to this is that, the reaidents requested for permission from Chief Chizela to hold the ‘Chikondo’ procession, so that the coffin would lead them to the person who caused the death of the the grade 11 pupil [who died on October 13]. The chief refused to grant them permission but they went ahead with the ‘Chikondo’,” Daka said.

He said after police attempted to stop he procession, the residents ran amok, pursued the officers up to the police station where they set the building ablaze.

“The property damaged and burnt includes a Mitsubishi Canter belonging to a police officer, a Toyota Noah which was left at the station by bailiffs, a Toyota Land Cruiser ambulance, a Toyota hilux for traffic department, a Tata vannet for Zambezi District Commissioner, an Audi car which was exhibit for the Drug Enforcement Commission and other vehicles which were non runners,” he said.

“Further, all exhibits in the office like TVs, fridges etc were all damaged. An officer had K12,000 personal money, it was all stolen, plus all files and dockets have been burnt or destroyed.”

He added that the residents further freed the suspects who were in police custody.

“Further 12 suspects in the cells were freed but one has freely come back while others who included 6 convicted felons waiting to be conveyed to prison have escaped. So far police have arrested 17 suspects, two females and 15 males and many more will be arrested,” said Daka.

“We are cooperating well with eye witnesses and community leaders to bring all suspects to book. I want to warn all people who destroy public or private property as a show of anger against any thing, to desist from such conduct. We shall arrest them and ensure they are imprisoned.”