Ten small-scale miners who staged a demonstration in Kumasi have been arrested by the Ashanti Regional Police Command at the Gyamfuah Park where the demonstrators gathered earlier on Tuesday, 12 September 2017.
They were arrested after police fired tear gas on them for an alleged misconduct.
This was confirmed by the regional Public Relations Officer, ASP Juliana Obeng at a press briefing on Tuesday.
According to her, five of them were arrested at various check points upon intelligence that, some persons who were not members of the Association had joined the demonstrators to cause destruction.
She said deadly materials like cutlasses, hammers, among others were retrieved from them when they were on their way wearing the small-scale miners’ attire while five were also arrested at the Gyamfuah Park at Asokwah where they gathered for an alleged misconduct.
She said the leaders of the demonstration will be invited for questioning since they frowned on police order to stop the demonstration.
She also refuted the allegations by the leadership of the small-scale miners that the police intentionally stopped them from hitting the street.
According to Juliana Obeng, the police were formally told that the number of the demonstrators were about 200, but were later told by the leadership of the Association that, they were about 5000 which the police could not grant enough men to protect.
Juliana Obeng noted that the police officers had been dispatched to Kumasi Alabar, Kumasi Metro Mass Depot and Manso Nkwanso for which reason they could not provide enough men to protect the demonstrators and so asked them to reschedule the demonstration.
The demonstration by the miners was to register their displeasure at government’s stance on small-scale mining after the expiration of the six months ban on their legitimate enterprise.