Students Clash in Tonga

Nuku'alofa, (Matangi): Student violence last night, that saw two boys admitted to Vaiola Hospital and the arrest of 147 boys, has forced the postponement of the finals of the Tongatapu Secondary School Rugby Tournament that were scheduled for today.

Two Tonga College boys are in Vaiola Hospital with injuries sustained in an alleged attack by Tupou College students last night at a home in Tofoa. Police have arrested 147 boys who remain in police custody for interrogation.

The Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Soakai Motu‘apuaka told Matangi Tonga Online this morning that the decision to postpone the finals for all rugby grades today was due to the escalating fights between students.

He said around midnight last night it was alleged that a group of Tupou College students went and smashed a home at Tofoa with rocks, and the two Tonga College students who sustained injuries including head injuries, were now in the hospital. The home was occupied by a Tonga High School teacher and a few Tonga College students.

“The two injured boys are reported to be in a stable condition but we have in police custody at the Nuku’alofa Central Police station 147 students from Tupou College whom we are interrogating today. We had to pull out our policemen from the Mu‘a and Nukunuku Police stations to help deal with the matter,” he said.

Postponement

Following the incident, he said that police contacted the Secondary School Rugby Committee and asked them to consider postponing the rugby finals today. The postponement was confirmed by the Committee President Fr. ‘Aisake Vaisima of ‘Apifo‘ou College this morning.

He said the finals will still be held, but police would meet again with the committee to decide whether it is best to have one final per rugby grade a day.

The Acting Deputy Police Commissioner believed that finding a solution to the fighting between school students needs a holistic approach.

Tonga College is an all boys Government school, while Tupou College is an all boys boarding school of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga.
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