Tormented man builds wall around home
A Huntly man says harassment from neighbourhood kids has caused his life to spiral out of control.
The man has resorted to building a solid breeze block fence in front of his property to form a compound.
Niraj Bahadur says he's been racially abused, had rocks and other objects thrown through his window and against his house. The attacks have been happening since March and Bahadur also says a group of kids, under 16, have challenged him to fight.
"They started making racist comments, 'you Indians go back to your country'.. we are not from India anyway.
"The next step was they pulled the goat away, I went and interrupted them and got the goat back and they wanted to have a fight, they came all around my fence."
Bahadur moved from Fiji a decade ago to Huntly West where more than 30 per cent of residents are under 15 and almost 50 per cent of families with children consisted of one parent.
The stress has led to him resigning from his retail job and being admitted to hospital.
Bahadur contacted Stuff in a last ditch effort to appeal to the kids and the community of Huntly for the harassment to stop.
He said things became heated during one incident when the group was egging him on for a fight.
"They were coming inside my property and I picked up wood and I said, if you come near then you'll see some fun."
Now the 36-year old Fijian Indian man is stuck with a $20,000 loan to fund a fortress-like fence for the security of his wife and three children aged 9, 8 and 6-years old.
"I couldn't afford it but for the safety, I had to... I want to know who will feed my family now."
Attempts have been made to resolve the situation with the family of the children.
But the most frustrating aspect of the situation was the lack of police intervention, he said.
He admitted making several 111 calls during each incident, but Bahadur said the operator told him if other non-emergency calls were made, he would be charged.
"I blew up with the frustration because of the safety concerns."
Officer in charge at Huntly police station, Andrew Brosnan, said there had been no action taken by police following the incidents.
"He has rung in a few jobs and we have attended, unfortunately we haven't been able to identify any kids."
In dealing with nuisance kids, Brosnan said for those too young to be involved in youth aid services, the best solution is education and family working with the neighbourhood policing team.
"They know most of the kids and the families in Huntly."
While roaming kids is a community and family issue, youth harassing residents is not a constant problem in the town, he said.
However if anyone is having trouble, Brosnan said police are willing to work with complainants.
But Bahadur feels that's not the case for him.
"Why should I have to put up all the expenses when it's not my fault?"
"So far I haven't got any phone calls from anyone."
The final straw came last Tuesday when he was trying to seek advice from a police officer during work hours.
He said his employer instructed him to get back to work but he persisted with the conversation.
"I blew up, my first priority is my family, she didn't understand my frustration."
And so he resigned.
Despite all the trouble, he doesn't want to leave the town.
"I won't leave Huntly but I want to know where we'll go to from here...I don't know what's going to happen in one month's time."
Mayor Allan Sanson was unaware of this particular situation and couldn't make any comment.
Youths causing trouble in a town is not unique to Huntly though, he said.
However he's willing to hear Bahadur out.
"My doors have always been open, that's always been my style. I have had people who have had problems and don't know where to turn.
"I do have access to certain people that may be able to help them, that's probably all I am limited to."
Sanson said he is in discussions with NGOs on what work can be done with families dealing with troubled youth.