Mahendra Chaudhry held for 'breaching' emergency regulations
Melbourne: Mahendra Chaudhry, the India-born former Prime Minister of Fiji, has been arrested for allegedly breaching the military government's emergency regulations, a news report said today.
Chaudhry, leader of the opposition Labour party, and five others were arrested for alleged breaches of the Public Emergency Regulations, police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa
Military dictator Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, who seized power in a bloodless coup in December 2006, has banned all public meetings when he revoked the constitution. The Public Emergency Regulations were imposed last year.
Chaudhry said he was in the area to assess the impact of the drought on sugar cane fields in Rakiraki. He said he was arrested while he discussing the issue with the farmers
members of his National Farmers Union Rakiraki.
"There was no public meeting," Chaudhry was quoted as saying by Fiji Times today.
Haryana-born Chaudhry, who became Fiji's first ethnic Indian leader in 1999 after his Labour Party won a majority in the general election, is expected to appear in court tomorrow.
Fiji's first Indo-Fijian Prime Minister was taken hostage by the hardline Fijian nationalist leader George Speight in a Fiji coup of 2000. Chaudhry was born in a Balhara Jat family from village Bahu Jamalpur in Rohtak district, Haryana.