Baulevu Farming Communities in Fear of Theft Increase

Farmer, Aneesh Chandra, claims he woke up one morning, about two months ago, to check on his pigs just across the road when he was met with a shocking scene.
27 Sep 2023 15:11
Baulevu Farming Communities in Fear of Theft Increase
Baulevu farmer Aneesh Chandra with wife Vilashni Devi at their home on September 26, 2023. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Members of Baulevu farming community, just outside Nausori, are calling out for help.

This is after a series of alleged thefts and burglaries in recent months. Farmers and their families are living in fear.

They claim their complaints have fallen on deaf ears despite reporting it at the Baulevu Community Post.

Farmer, Aneesh Chandra, claims he woke up one morning, about two months ago, to check on his pigs just across the road when he was met with a shocking scene.

Blood stains and intestines were splattered on his front yard leaving him to question the fate of his pigs.

When he walked over to the pig pen, sure enough, two had gone missing confirming his fear that it was a result of theft.

He claimed to have reported the incident at Baulevu Community Post.

The next day, he claimed to have received threats by the alleged perpetrators.

A five-minute ride from Mr Chandra’s farm, Mustaq Ali operates a dairy farm.

Mustaq Ali. Photo: Ronald Kumar

He claimed he has lost four of the seven cattle at the beginning of this year. Mr Ali has had to resort to collecting milk from nearby farmers and transporting it to the Milk Collection Centre in Burebasaga because of his inability to meet his dairy supply.

He was recently questioned by the Ministry of Agriculture of why he did not meet his quota.

Mr Ali claimed he has lost more than $4000 from the alleged robbery on his farm.

Further inside this farming community, close to a 10-minute drive, vegetable farmer, Ramendra Singh, claims he’s lost more than $2000 worth of pumpkin in the last month.

He said in his 30 years of farming, this act was beginning to frustrate him.

Ramendra Singh at his Baulevu landing farm on September 26, 2023. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Mr Singh claims that that the robbery incidents at his home have increased from one to twice weekly.

As these farmers battle the struggle to stay valid in the market by supplying dairy, livestock and vegetable produce, the hurdle to meet the demand lies in this alleged incidents.

Mr Chandra said he received threats from the alleged perpetrator about burning his house.

“I have had to install grills all over my house and constantly check my farms for further break-ins and all,” he said.

On an interesting note, Mr Chandra claims that the alleged perpetrators present grog as a form of seeking forgiveness.

Baulevu livestock farmer, Aneesh Chandra at his farm on September
26, 2023. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Not just the farms 

But perpetrators are not just attacking farms.

Before you reach Baulevu landing, closer to Nausori, Koroqaqa residents are also crying out for help.

Last year, resident Rajendra Prasad said he went to the United States with his wife for his medical review.

When they returned, Mr Prasad claimed that their fully furnished home was almost bare.

The Prasad’s claimed that their TV, kitchen and electrical appliances together with furniture in the living room and bedrooms were stolen.

“While I had an officer come look into the burglary at home, I wasn’t provided with any more information or follow ups.”

Koroqaqa sheep farmer, Jai Ram claims two of his sheep were stolen from behind his home early this year. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Police response 

Divisional Police Commander East, Senior Superintendent of Police, Josua Vodo said: “It is well within the work of Police to investigate alleged inactions by Police officers. 

“We take on board the concerns raised about the alleged inaction by the officers, and we will reach out to the complainants and assure them that it will be looked into.

“As for the reports of burglaries, we have only received one in the last three months.

“Communities are urged to raise their concerns to their community policing officers as their numbers are publicised.”


Resident and Opposition MP 

Baulevu resident and Opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Vijay Nath, said the matter has become a sensitive one and required urgent attention.

“I am urging the Government to help us look into this and provide these farmers with the help they need in order to survive,” Mr Nath said.

Member of Parliament, Vijay Nath. Photo: Ronald Kumar


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