Fiji’s Acting Commissioner of Police, Juki Fong Chew, has approved the wearing of a turban with the official Fiji Police crown.
The Fiji Police Force, in a statement, noted that this decision was made in consultation with senior members, showing recognition and respect for the rights of one of their new recruits, Police Constable Navjeath Singh Sohata, who is a devout Sikh.
PC Sohata, a member of Batch 66, will be the first to wear this reintroduced uniform.
According to the early history of the Fiji Police Force as documented in the book “Fiji to the Balkans: History of the Fiji Police Force” by Stanley Brown, the first Sikh constables were recruited in the early 1910s.
Police Constable Sohata, who hails from Dreketi, joined Batch 66 on August 27, describing it as the beginning of his journey to fulfilling a childhood dream. The 20-year-old, a former Dreketi Central College student, initially found life as a recruit challenging, particularly being away from his family, including his twin brother and younger sister. However, after two weeks, he settled in and has been focused on learning as much as possible in preparation for the life of service that awaits him upon completing the four-month training.
“I have a number of people in my life who I look up to as inspiration and role models, and it is my goal to make them proud and be just as good as them when it comes to my professional life.”
PC Sohata has also acknowledged the support of the senior hierarchy in embracing and respecting religious diversity within the organisation.