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Padarath files Police complaint against Akbar

February 27, 2021 5:53 am
Former Fiji Labour Party candidate Ben Padarath.

Former Fiji Labour Party candidate Ben Padarath says he has filed a police complaint against Education Minister Rosy Akbar.

This comes a day after Akbar hit out Padarath for a social media post. Padarath had singled out the head boy of Lautoka Muslim College, asking why he has been allowed to grow a beard.

He had asked why students in other schools could not do so.

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Akbar says Padarath’s outburst is bigoted, insensitive, and an affront to the right of freedom of religion.

She says Padarath’s assertions are incorrect adding that the Ministry’s policy allows schools to cater for students religious, and cultural practices.

Padarath says, Akbar’s false racial and religious claims have led to his family receiving threats.

Speaking to FBC News, Padarath maintains that his post on social media was not a racial or religious outburst but just a concerned parent.

“ The laws relating to boys shaving in school daily, shaving their facial hair daily because I have three sons in a Government school who are made to shave daily so my post was simply asking the Minister what is the Government’s policy.”

When asked why he didn’t take the matter directly with the Minister of Education as opposed to splashing it all over Facebook, he stated that he had a right to freedom of speech.

“The Minister needs to understand that she is a public figure paid by the taxpayers of Fiji as a Cabinet Minister, my mother was also a Cabinet Minister, they are open to questions from the public 24 hours a day.”

Akbar says she will not make a comment on this latest matter.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirms the complaint was lodged at the Lautoka police station today.

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