25 Nov 2002

Fiji's National Farmers Union is planning legal action against the police over march bans

7:41 am on 25 November 2002

Fiji's National Farmers Union is planning legal action against the police and the government for denying permits for protest marches against the increase in Value Added Tax.

Police refused to give permits, broke up a planned protest at Lautoka and prevented hundreds of supporters from joining it by turning back their buses.

The Labour party MP, Dr Ganesh Chand, says the National Farmers Union will take legal action against the authorities for denying the fundamental rights of its members.

Dr Chand says they allowed the ruling SDL and the National Federation parties to march and express their views on issues they thought needed attention, but when it came to Labour and the National Farmers Union, their application was rejected.

He expressed concern at the arrest of march organiser, Subhash Verma, saying police had no right to take him into custody.

Dr Chand says all citizens have a right to express their concerns, but the government of the day does all in it power to suppress the voice of the people.