14 Sep 2006

Fiji Hindus criticise police and government for lack of commitment in stopping temple attacks

2:06 pm on 14 September 2006

The head of a Hindu organisation in Fiji says the police and government are not doing enough to track down the perpetrators of ongoing attacks against Hindu temples.

In the latest incident, statues and religious texts were burnt in a temple at Narare near Suva.

The national president of Arya Pratinidhi, Kamlesh Arya, says he believes this latest attack may have been racially motivated since only eleven US dollars was stolen.

He says Hindu temples have been targetted since 2002 but that the intensity of such attacks has increased.

Mr Arya says the Hindu community is feeling persecuted and supports calls for sacrilegious attacks to be given the same penalty as murder.

"They are not murdering a single person, they are murdering a whole community. If we can regard it as that then I think the penalties must be harsher. They should be given strokes of the birches that is allowed in the law so that they also feel the physical pain that the community goes through spiritual pain. And if we can classify it as a commitment of murder, so be it."

The national president of Arya Pratinidhi, Kamlesh Arya.