Fiji’s Hindu community is sickened by a spate of recent attacks on Hindu temples and places of worship at a time when the community is celebrating the nine-day festival of Ram Navmi.
Since Easter two attacks, both at Narere in Nasinu, have forced Senior Labour MP Pratap Chand to warn that the “Hindu tolerance level has been stretched too far and could break one day”.
He called on Christian church leaders to teach tolerance and respect for other religions. A continuation of such attacks could further divide the two major races in Fiji, he said.
The Easter attack saw the temple at Narere ransacked. Two days ago the Narere Primary School was broken into and the school temple and various classrooms were vandalised. The school was forced to send children home when they arrived the following morning to find the place ransacked.
Statues of deities and holy books in the temple were destroyed.
The attack on the school and temple prompted Fiji Teachers Union general secretary Agni Deo Singh to describe Fiji as “a sick society”.
Police statistics just released show that crimes relating to sacrilege are on the rise. Sacrilege, school and hotel break-ins have seen a 14% increase compared to the previous year.
While Police claim a 2% decline in the overall crime rate, cases of rape and attempted rape have increased 5% and burglaries went up 13%. At the same time house break-ins decreased by 8%. Police detection rate has improved by 1%, up from 51% to 52%.