A 32-year-old farmer was charged yesterday with burning down a pagoda dining room in Kampong Cham province.
Yon Pheap, of Krouch Soeuch village, was charged by the provincial court with intentionally causing damage.
He has been sent by the investigating judge to the provincial prison pending his trial.
Kampong Siem district police officer Ros Khem said that about 2am on Monday, the accused, who was a pagoda student and was drunk at the time, climbed into the dining room, a wooden house, when it was empty.
He then lit a fire which spread and engulfed the premises in flames.
“He was angry at the pagoda chief and other monks for sacking him from the pagoda, and not letting him stay in the house,” Mr Khem said. “The fire burned and destroyed everything in the house. After burning the house, he fled.”
The pagoda chief and the other monks learned about the fire after the house was almost completely burned down. They then reported it to local police.
San Kong, deputy chief of Han Chey commune police, said that the accused was arrested at about 6am in the village on the same day.
When questioned at the district police station, the accused admitted to setting the structure abalze.
“He confessed that the reason he burned the house was because he was angry at the pagoda chief monk and other monks for sacking him from the pagoda,” he said. “To take revenge, he set fire to the house.”
He added that according to a police report, more than $5,000 in damage was caused to the house and other property.