The home of Chandrika Prasad, the farmer who won world wide acclaim by challenging the army’s abrogation of the 1997 Constitution, was razed in an arson attack early this morning.
The house was vacant at the time because Chandrika Prasad was granted asylum in New Zealand after he won his case.
Neighbours say some relatives were expected to move into the house in the week-end but had been warned by villagers that they would be beaten up if they did so. They say the attack came at 3am.
In a statement today the Fiji Labour Party condemned the the destruction of the farmer’s house. It said:
Fortunately, there was no one at home at the time the house was torched. But that does not detract from the seriousness of the crime.
This is clearly an act of aggression against the Indian community because Chandrika Prasad symbolised the community’s fight for justice and equal rights.
The torching of Mr. Prasad’s house coming so close to terrorist attacks on Indian settlers at Navuso in Nausori, the unlawful eviction of farmers in Drasa, Lautoka and attacks on Hindu places of worship are clearly evidence of a stepped up campaign to harass the Indian community.
The Labour Party denounces the deteriorating race relations climate in the country. But there is no doubt that this is an orchestrated campaign by some elements to intimidate the Indian people.