Police to probe teenager’s death in custody

Radio New Zealand – 

The mother of a Fiji teenager who died in police custody on February 16, says that her son was beaten up.

Ashwini Nand told Fiji Times that her son Vikarant was arrested on Wednesday morning for breaching a domestic violence restraining order against him.

She said that when her son was supposed to appear in court he did not show up, and she went to the police station to find that he was still there.

Ms Nand said, “My son told me that he had been beaten up by officers in the cells, and that he could not swallow food properly as a result of his injuries.”

Suicide claim rejected

She told the newspaper that when she inquired with officers as to why he had not been taken to court, she was told that they had other investigations and a directive had come from police headquarters.

Ms Nand said that she returned to the station on Thursday evening and, after waiting two hours, was told her son had died in the police cell.

In a separate interview with Fiji Village, she said that she was told her son had committed suicide, but that different officers at the Nakasi Police Station had given her different stories.

Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho said that he was aware of the incident and had ordered an investigation.

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