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Temple Attackers Will be Brought to Justice: Qiliho

Police yesterday called for an emergency meeting to address the recent attacks on temples in the Suva/Nausori corridor that have stunned Hindus around the country. Two attacks in January this
23 Jan 2018 14:03
Temple Attackers Will be Brought to Justice: Qiliho

Police yesterday called for an emergency meeting to address the recent attacks on temples in the Suva/Nausori corridor that have stunned Hindus around the country.

Two attacks in January this year and December last year prompted a stern warning from the Commissioner of Police, Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho that the attackers will be brought to justice.

“We will ensure those who are responsible for these attacks are brought to justice as we don’t want anyone to be intimidated for their right to worship,” Brigadier-General Qiliho said.

“The attacks are of great concern and all divisional Police commanders have been directed to look into and engage with the respective religious organisations in their area of operation to reinforce our commitment to their safety and their rights to worship.”

Fiji Sun had in yesterday’s publication reported a break-in at a temple in Wainibuku, Nasinu.

Rewa Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha president Vijendra Prakash yesterday told senior police officers in Nausori that the temple had been attacked in the past.

Divisional Police Commander East Senior Superintendent (SSP) Eparama Waqa, who led a meeting with Mr Prakash, gave assurance that swift action would be taken to stop the attacks.

As a result of the attacks, barriers were erected around the temple to protect worshippers from stones that were regularly thrown inside, Mr Prakash said.

Worshippers have also been sworn at, while food kept aside for refreshment at prayer sessions have been stolen from inside the compound, he said.

The president of one of the largest religious groups in Fiji worries followers, out of fear, may stop coming to the temple altogether.

“It is already hard to maintain followers with the young generation interested more in technology and entertainment,” Mr Prakash said.

He said because the continuing attacks, many of his followers had also begun to place less importance in contacting Police.

But Mr Qiliho said the force was ready to work together with communities in addressing any concerns.

“The issues raised about the community policing concerns will be looked into as we need to be working together,” he said.

Last December, the desecration of the Votualevu Tirath Dam Mandir in Nadi drew widespread condemnation from senior Government officials and religious figures alike.

Another temple in Waila, Nausori was also attacked, Mr Prakash revealed in the meeting.

The attacks have continued into the New Year as Fiji prepares for the General Elections.

Thieves targeted the Vishnu Bhawan Temple in Naulu last week, in a robbery officials believe was an attempt to find money.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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