18 Sep 2006

Hindus called into emergency meeting after further temple attacks in Fiji

3:26 pm on 18 September 2006

Hindus throughout Fiji have been summoned to emergency meetings today to discuss security for their temples.

The Fiji Sun reports that this follows three attacks on different temples within four days.

The newspaper quotes the Rewa branch president of the Hindu religious organisation the Sanatan Dharam, Chengaiya Naidu, as saying private and public temple members should meet to discuss protection for their places of worship.

Mr Naidu says the Sabha fears there is a campaign to wipe out Hinduism in Fiji and descrbed the attacks and the desecration of temples as unpardonable.

The National Federation Party has called for the formation of vigilante and community protection groups to protect temples and fight back against rising crime.

The party's general secretary, Pramod Rae, says offenders are not punished severely enough for sacrilege and people cannot be blamed if they take the law into their own hands.

Mr Rae says for far too long people have taken advantage of the tolerance of Hindus.