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Wednesday, February 10, 2010
TWO girls were allegedly beaten by their uncle this week after he saw them in shorts by roadside following their school's athletics training.
Police confirmed that the 14 year olds were beaten with a stick by one of the girl's uncles who spotted them while driving past in a taxi.
The girls were admitted to the Savusavu Hospital.
Police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri also confirmed that the 50-year-old uncle had been arrested and was now in custody.
"We haven't laid charges yet but we are considering (charging him with) acting with intent to cause grievous bodily harm," he said yesterday.
"We are waiting for their medical report. They were taken to the Labasa Hospital yesterday to undergo X-rays as they were complaining of backache and swollen body parts."
Insp Sokomuri said the community police officers were re-directed to create greater awareness on this issue.
"Girls should not be caned for wearing shorts and the community policing officers will continue to educate members of the community about the basic laws that cover these types of incidents because people need to understand the law," he said.
"This is not the first time this has happened.
"Members of the community should understand that meting out punishment for violating the traditional dress code is wrong in the legal system."
The Fiji Times met the girls and their mothers at the X-Ray Department of the Labasa Hospital yesterday.
Asilika Nasila, 35, said her daughter -- Ulalia Susana, 14, a Form 3 at St Bedes College -- had gone training with her friend, another 14 year old.
"We had sent them to the shop and they were also out training so that's why they were wearing shorts," Mrs Nasila said.
"We were surprised to see them come home crying."
Mrs Nasila said her daughter alleged that the uncle -- Mrs Nasila's older brother -- stopped the taxi he was driving, grabbed a stick by the roadside and started beating them while the passengers in his taxi watched. The incident happened at 6.30pm.
"My daughter's hand is swollen and she is in constant pain after the stick landed several times on her back," Mrs Nasila said.