21 Aug 2003

Fiji Labour MP accuses Christian group of terrorising indo-Fijian farmers

10:19 am on 21 August 2003

The Fiji Labour Party MP and acting general secretary, Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi, says terror attacks in the Baulevu area illustrate the problems rural police have with maintaining law and order.

There have been reports of Indian families being terrorised for food, money and cattle and also being forced to listen to Christian teachings by a group who invade their houses.

There are only three officers at Baulevu police post and they have no telephone or transport.

Mr Vayeshnoi says the government needs to prioritise rural policing because the officers are finding it difficult to safeguard the community against such attacks.

"There is a need for a budget allocation to the tune of three million dollars which would ensure that the police can effectively combat crime - increasing crime - that is now prevalent in rural areas."

Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi.

However the Fiji Police have cautioned the media not to sensationalise the reports and say its a storm in a teacup.

The Commander of the Eastern Division, Jone Ravulo, says their investigations have yet to find any evidence of criminal activities.

He says a Christian group did enter a family compound but only to hand out pamphlets.

But he says they are increasing patrols in the area.