The world of education in Papua Province is grieving after an elementary school teacher of Inpres Beoga, Oktovianus Rayo, and a mathematics teacher at Beoga 1 Public Middle School (SMPN) 1, Yonatan Randen, were shot dead by an armed criminal group (KKB). The two teachers were shot by KKB in Beoga District, Puncak Regency, Papua Province. The shooting drew criticism from a number of parties. Head of the Education, Library, and Archives Service of Papua Province, Christian Sohilait strongly condemned the KKB’s actions. He also left a message to the shooters. “The teachers you killed, wanted to save your children (from ignorance),” said Sohilait in Jayapura, Monday (11/4/2021).
Oktovianus and Jonathan were shot at different times. Oktovianus on Thursday (8/4/2021) and Jonathan on Friday (9/4/2021). Sohilait also spoke up about the KKB’s accusation that Oktovianus was a spy for the security forces. He called the accusations heinous.
He also added that the geographic location and minimal infrastructure facilities in Beoga meant that not many teachers were willing to be placed in that location. Beoga is at an altitude of 3,500 meters above sea level. “They are both honorary teachers. There is no way my teachers in such a situation would risk their life by carrying a weapon. I believe that accusation is false. For KKB, do not try to divert the public’s opinion, you have killed people,” said Sohilait. He also said that there were still seven teachers at Beoga. “Yesterday (10/4/2021) three teachers and two families had already been evacuated. There are still seven teachers in Beoga, but based on their own consideration, they are measuring whether they want to be evacuated or remain in Beoga,” said Sohilait.
KKB shot Oktovianus Rayo who was watching over a kiosk at his house in Julugoma Village on Thursday, at around 09.30 WIT. He died after suffering two gunshot wounds to the right rib. Meanwhile, Yonathan was the victim of a shooting on Friday afternoon. He suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. Yonathan was rushed by the community to Beoga Health Center, but he did not survive. The two bodies were evacuated to Mimika on Saturday (10/4/2021). The evacuation was finally possible after the Puncak Regency Government paid a ransom to the KKB to let the plane enter Beoga Airport.