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SUVA, Fiji (FijiSUN, Sept. 28) – A total of 152 cases of desecration have been tallied in Fiji places of worship since 2001, mostly in Hindu temples, a Hindu leader says.

Arya Pratindhi Sabha Fiji president Kamlesh Arya said the figures from 2001 to July this year show that Hindu temples are the common target.

"The figures for the 2001 to July 2005 period showed that sacrilege on average has been carried out at seven churches, 20 temples and two mosques. As conceded by the Attorney-General in August, places of worship broken into mostly have been Hindu temples. Mosques are rarely affected and other churches have not been affected at all," he said.

Sacrilege is one of the most sensitive crimes, Arya noted, because view the result as an act of intimidation, harassment, disrespect. He said Fiji police have wrongly characterized the desecration as thefts.

"Those affected by the acts of sacrilege feel the devastation carried out at the affected temples by disruptive elements in society," he said. "In almost all cases of sacrilege at Hindu temples, the destruction has been serious, deliberate and systematic and this cannot be termed as opportunity theft as the police would like the community to believe."

September 29, 2005

FijiSUN: http://www.sun.com.fj/

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