The beginning's of food riots. Did you think you'd ever see the day of this happening in Fiji?
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Food dispute turns bloody
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
AN argument over food rations supplied to cane labourers ended in a stabbing incident after a labourer demanded more food from the cane farmer.
The incident has left the family of Uma Dutt and the farming community of Kawakawavesi in Seaqaqa in fear.
Mr Dutt's family watched as the labourer attacked him and a colleague with an iron rod on Sunday evening.
He was stabbed on the left side of his head, his left hand and ear.
He was admitted to the Seaqaqa Hospital on Sunday night and sent to Labasa Hospital for an X-ray yesterday.
Mr Dutt's brother, Kishore Lal, said he had to shift the family to another house for their safety on Sunday night.
Police said the case was being investigated and the accused, believed to be the leader of a cane harvesting gang from Naravuka Village in Seaqaqa, Macuata, had been questioned.
Mr Lal said the team of 10 labourers from Naravuka were camped outside Mr Dutt's house.
"My brother's wife gave the headman their supply of food on Sunday afternoon for them to cook for their dinner," he said.
"She gave them four potatoes, two packets of noodles and a can of tinned fish but he didn't like it and confronted my brother who had just returned from the farm.
"He asked my brother why the supply of food was little and my brother told him that it was enough but he demanded for more and the two argued."
Mr Lal said the labourer punched his brother but Mr Dutt dodged his fist.
"The man then took an iron rod lying on the ground and stabbed my brother on the left side of his head, left hand and ear.
"He also threatened my brother's family and told them he would kill them because of my brother."
Mr Lal said they had to shift the family to another house after the stabbing incident because the victim's wife and daughters could no longer stay there on their own.
National Farmers Union north officer Surendra Lal called on the labourers and farmers to work together and discuss issues instead of resorting to unnecessary actions.