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Mobs castrate, dump ‘Black Jesus’ in pit in PNG

Gory details have emerged of how angry village mobs plotted the murder of infamous Madang cult leader Steven Tari, known to his followers as “Black Jesus”, last week.
A village court magistrate said the villagers, fed up with Tari’s cult beliefs and practices, which included the killing of young girls as “sacrifices”, trapped Tari and one of his followers, killed, castrated, dragged him with a cane tied around his neck and dumped him in a shallow pit .
The body was dug up by police, prison and health workers on Friday about 1km from Gal village in the south Ambenob LLG.
Dr Juith Gawi of Modilion Hospital and two mortuary officers who dug him up said the body had several knife wounds. 
“He was chopped and slashed with bush knives on both  arms and legs, chest and stomach which revealed his intestines. He was also castrated,”Gawi said. 
Wagi village court magistrate Lebu said Tari’s attackers tied his head with cane ropes and dragged him 10m from the creek and buried him in a shallow pit.
He also revealed details of how Tari was making preparations for a helicopter trip to Israel on Friday.
It was learned that Tari had told his followers last week that a helicopter would be taking him to Israel on Saturday.  
They raised K800 and bought a pig for a farewell feast for Friday. He never made it.
Lebu said about 80 men from surrounding villages formed three groups to chase and kill Tari and a 15-year-old follower.
“The 80 men separated into three groups. One group disturbed and chased him while he was conducting his morning ritual,” Lebu said. 
Tari escaped only to find himself facing another group who allegedly attacked and killed him, he said. 
“He injured two of those men but they outnumbered and killed him,” Lebu said. 
His follower Matus Ogmaba ran into another mob who killed him. 
Police criminal investigation division officer Ray Ban said Tari and his group killed 15-year-old Rose Wagum at 6pm on Tuesday as a “sacrifice”.
The cult group also tried to offer as a sacrifice another 14-year-old from Matepi village on Wednesday but were stopped by the mob which eventually killed him.
Wagum was a Grade 7 student at Gum Primary School outside Madang. Ban said her aunt Merigin Wagum, who was the first known flower girl for Tari, took her to Tari’s camp at Gal where she was sacrificed. 
Police and Dr Gawi’s team exhumed her body on Saturday.  
Ban said a 10-year-old girl who went to Gal village with Wagum and her aunt was still missing. 
The aunt and Wagum’s father Jeffrey Wagum were arrested and charged for secretly burying her.
Gal villagers were warned by police to stop the cult practices. 
“‘Tari is dead and this cult worship dies with him,” Ban said.
“Stop this worship now. If I hear any more cult worship here, I will return with my men.”
He said Tari, from Markham in Morobe, was serving a 20-year jail term for rape when he escaped with 48 other prisoners from Beon jail in May. 
He also had two murder charges pending when he escaped.

The National/Pacific Flash

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