11 Jul 2005

Mother of missing teenage Fiji sisters claims she was beaten by police

7:39 pm on 11 July 2005

A sensational criminal case in Fiji has taken a new twist with the mother of three teenage sisters - who are missing and feared dead - accusing police of beating her.

The Fiji Sun reports that Moreen Lata alleges police officers assaulted her last week when she was taken in for questioning over claims by confessed murderer Dip Chand that they were having an affair.

Family friend Chand, 42, told police he killed Lata's daughters when he took them on a fishing trip off the north coast of Fiji's main island of Viti Levu on June 26.

Chand has also pleaded guilty to 10 counts of rape involving three other girls.

A massive police search for the Aashika Lata, 19, and her sisters Renuka, 18, and Radhika, 17, has found nothing since they went missing 15 days ago.

The Fiji Sun said Mrs Lata had a bruised nose which she said was caused by the assault.

Criminal Investigation Department director Ravi Narayan said the matter would be investigated.