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Fiji Time: 2:48 AM on Wednesday 30 July

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Girmit-era temple reduced to ashes

Friday, October 17, 2008

A TEMPLE built by indentured labourers was destroyed by a fire early yesterday morning.

Members of the Kendrit Shiri Sanatan Dharam Shiv Temple in Narewa, Nadi were yesterday filled with grief as their place of worship was reduced to ashes.

Divisional Police Commander Western Senior Superintendent Fesaitu Kava said investigations were continuing and they had not ruled out foul play.

SSP Kava said they were exploring all avenues until the cause of the fire was established.

Temple committee member Hemant Sanjivi said the fire had destroyed a part of their history.

Mr Sanjivi said the 97-year-old temple was very close to all Hindus because it was one of the few remaining temples that were actually built by their ancestors during the indentured labour period.

He said people from all over Fiji who travelled to Nadi usually paid a visit to the temple that was always kept open.

Adamant that it was a case of arson, Mr Sanjivi said followers were already preparing for the cleansing ceremony before moving ahead with rebuilding plans.

"The only thing that we can do now is cleanse the place, ask for the forgiveness on those that carried out such a heinous act and move on," he said.

"It is a sad day for all Hindus in Fiji because we have lost part of our history," said Mr Sanjivi.

He said they were also concerned because the temple was located inside the property of Nadi Primary School that has been burgled on numerous occasions with the most recent being two weeks ago.

Mr Sanjivi said fortunately, the fire did not spread to the school buildings.


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