Call for im­me­di­ate probe into rug­ger’s death is timely

Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Bri­gadier- Gen­eral Si­tiveni Qil­iho takes a proac­tive stance.

Fiji Sun - - Comment - ROSI DOVIVERATA Feed­back: rosi.doviverata@fi­jisun.com.fj

It’s re­as­sur­ing to note the call by Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Bri­gadier-Gen­eral Si­tiveni Qil­iho to ex­pe­dite in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the death of 26-year-old Ki­uva vil­lager Jo­sua Lalau­vaki, who was al­legedly as­saulted by Po­lice of­fi­cers. Jo­sua was the vice-cap­tain of the Rewa Rugby Union side.

In fact, he was a key player in their cam­paign dur­ing the Skip­per Cup com­pe­ti­tion.

Like most young and up­com­ing rug­gers, Jo­sua had the tal­ent and at­tributes that would en­able him to one day, don the na­tional jersey.

On Septem­ber

2, 2018, he was al­legedly as­saulted while Po­lice were at­tend­ing to a re­port of a dis­tur­bance out­side a night­club in Suva.

Be­cause of the in­juries he sus­tained,

Jo­sua was taken to the Colo­nial War

Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal and was ad­mit­ted to the In­ten­sive Care Unit. He died on Thurs­day morn­ing.

Since his pass­ing, friends and fam­ily have taken to so­cial me­dia to share their hurt in the hope that jus­tice will be served for those re­spon­si­ble for Jo­sua’s death.

Af­ter the ini­tial re­port of the al­leged as­sault in Septem­ber, Bri­gadier-Gen­eral Qil­iho had taken a pro-ac­tive stance.

He is­sued a di­rec­tive for a team from the In­ter­nal Af­fairs Unit to in­ves­ti­gate the al­le­ga­tions. Yes­ter­day he di­rected the case be taken over by the Di­rec­tor CID and his team.

Po­lice of­fi­cers have been taken to court be­fore in sim­i­lar cases be­fore and convicted.

A thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion, as promised by the Po­lice Com­mis­sioner, is an­tic­i­pated.

What were the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing Jo­sua’s death?

As­saults on mem­bers of the pub­lic or Po­lice of­fi­cers for that mat­ter are un­ac­cept­able.

The Fiji Po­lice Force has no place for of­fi­cers who abuse their au­thor­ity, as ex­plic­itly stated by Com­mis­sioner Qil­iho.

May Jo­sua’s soul rest in peace and may those re­spon­si­ble for his death be brought to jus­tice.

Fol­low­ing the ini­tial re­port of the al­leged as­sault in Septem­ber, Bri­gadier-Gen­eral Qil­iho took a proac­tive stance and is­sued a di­rec­tive for In­ter­nal Af­fairs to in­ves­ti­gate.

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