11 Jul 2005

Fiji politicians visit family of murdered teenage girls

10:20 am on 11 July 2005

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, and the opposition leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, have both visited the family of the three teenage girls killed by self-confessed serial rapist and murderer Dip Chand.

Mr Qarase and his wife called on the 42-year old father Vijendra Kumar, his wife Moreen Lata and their two remaining children to offer words of comfort and help.

Mr Qarase was also briefed by police on the search for the bodies of the three girls who have now been missing for 15 days.

Mr and Mrs Chaudhry visited the grieving family as a weekend report said the missing girls' mother was badly beaten by police in their quest for information about the fate of yet another missing girl, Vandhana Jeet, who has not been seen for three years.

Moreen Lata said the police beat her to try and force her to admit she had an affair with the Dip Chand and that she knew about the fate of Vandhana Jeet.

The Fiji Sun quotes her as saying that she lodged a report about the assault at the Rakiraki Police Station but was forced to withdraw it after police threats.

Mr Chaudhry said he advised Moreen Lata to lodge a formal complaint to the Fiji Human Rights Commission and the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre about the beating which has been confirmed by a medical report.