Thursday, March 15, 2007

Army Beat My Son: Mum

A mother of a young mechanic is pleading for an explanation from the military on why her son was beaten up.Vajay Laxmi, 50, has expressed her disappointment on the incident that took place on Monday and questioned the tactics used by the military in handling members of the public.Vijendran Raman Mudliar, 24, was a passenger in a vehicle that failed to stop at a military checkpoint. The driver sped through and the soldiers caught up with them.“They should explain why my son was beaten up severely when he was only a passenger when it’s really the driver’s fault,” said Mrs Laxmi.However, military spokesman Major Neumi Leweni stressed that people should be careful when making allegations that would tend to discredit the military.If he was taken to Nabua Police Station, then the police should determine if the military had really assaulted that person,” said Major Leweni.“Right now people will try to make small issues become big so that it will go against the military so we cannot really depend on the person’s story to be true.”Major Leweni said the person should really be sure that it was the military that assaulted him and would not elaborate any further. Mr Mudliar, a mechanic by trade, had difficulty talking because of his injuries and had to resort to his mother to get his story across.Mrs Laxmi said that Vijendran went with one of his client on Monday to attend a job where the client. However, the client was under the influence of alcohol. “They reached the checkpoint at four miles where the military officers at the checkpoint tried to stop them but the driver sped off. The military went after them and caught up with them at the traffic light in Samabula,” said Mrs Laxmi.Four officers left the vehicle, she said.One went for the driver and the rest went after Vijendran.He wasn’t questioned but at the same time was assaulted and thrown on the footpath and Mrs Laxmi said that he was kicked while lying there.“After the assault, they took him to the Nabua Police Station where he called us to pick him up. He was assaulted at around 9.30pm and we went to his aid at 11pm. Neither the police nor the military bothered to take him to the hospital.”Mrs Laxmi said that she couldn’t control her emotions when she saw her son’s face covered with blood and was too weak to stand or say anything to them.We took him to a private doctor where we had to spend $330 and I don’t think anyone at home slept that night,” she said.Mrs Laxmi has pleaded with the military for an explanation and stressed that they would wait for the medical and police report before making an official complaint with the Fiji Human Rights Commission.If it was his fault, we would have understood but imagine if the driver’s wife was sitting beside him,” she said.“What would have happened if they went through the same scenario?”

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