16 Jul 2003

Fiji farmers in Tailevu want more police protection

11:10 am on 16 July 2003

Indian farmers in Fiji's Tailevu province are demanding that a police post be established in the area and that surveillance patrols be increased after two families were attacked in their homes.

The Labour MP for the area, Sanjeet Maharaj says villagers are attacking Indian farmers for food and crops.

He says increasing poverty in country is the main reason behind the latest attacks.

Mr Maharaj says the families targetted are some of the same famlies who fled the Waidalice area to Fiji's first ever refugee camp at Lautoka after anti-Indian violence at the time of the 2000 coup.

He says the farming families no longer feel safe in their homes and they want an increased police presence in the area.

"The police post was supposed to be built on the main road but the post has been shifted to another place. It is no use to the settlement where these people are. What the farmers need is more police patrols in the daytime and the nightime."