Saturday, July 13, 2013
THREE men are still traumatised after they were forced out of their vehicle, beaten and held at gunpoint along Vunakece Rd in Namadi Heights on Wednesday afternoon.
Seci Kiviti, 52, Uraia Pomau, 41, and Vuli Vakaloloma, 42, were returning from a farm next to MH Superfresh in Tamavua about 3pm to pick a spade to help them build a shed for their aunt's funeral at Tikaram Rd when their vehicle was chased by a four-wheel-drive with three men inside.
The three said they were stopped, forced out of the car and made to lie on the road. Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro confirmed they had received a report at the Samabula Police Station on Thursday afternoon.
She said the report they received was that the three men were held at gunpoint on Wednesday afternoon. "Investigations will commence," Ms Naisoro said. The men said they also lodged a complaint with the RFMF. Land Force Commander Lieutenant Mosese Tikoitoga said he would not comment until investigations were completed. He said the officers who received the report would not be able to release any information.
"They will conduct their own investigations, interview the people, they will write a report and will submit it to me," Lt-Col Tikoitoga said. Mr Kiviti was still in shock from the incident and demanded an explanation. "When they told us to lie down, I refused because they did not say or mention anything about any operation," Mr Kiti said. "I was so scared when one of them took out a gun and pointed it towards me while speaking in iTaukei language saying: "Dou va davora i ra, ke sega biuta i tuba nona mona' (make him lie down, if not put his brain out)".
One of the victims said he identified one of the men to be a military officer because he was his schoolmate at a prominent all-boys school. Mr Pomau said 10 minutes later, another vehicle arrived with four officers of the Strike Back team. A witness, who wished to remain anonymous, said he ran outside when he heard the men shouting. "When I came outside, I saw three men lying on the road with a man standing next to them holding a knife."
Three youths, who were cleaning their compound, rushed to their house when they saw one of the three men beating up the victims was holding a pistol. Mr Pomau said they were lucky otherwise it would have been a double funeral for their family. He said the men later apologised after realising the three were on their way to a funeral when they were accompanied to the venue.