A senior monk in Preah Vihear province was defrocked by cults and religion officials and arrested by district police after allegedly being involved in the assault of two minors.
Captain Lim Sameth, Kulen district police chief of staff, identified the suspect as 53-year-old Say Ny, former chief of Kiri Tuol Angdeth pagoda, located in the district’s Thmey commune.
Cap Sameth said the victims were 13-year-old Phoan Henglong and 14-year-old Sim Say. He noted that both novices were from the suspect’s pagoda, and that they both suffered injuries to their face and back.
Cap Sameth yesterday said that according to police investigation, at about 9.30am on Friday, the victims were causing a ruckus at the pagoda’s dining hall.
He said the shouting drew the attention of the suspect, who advised them to play elsewhere. He said the victims complied for a while and stopped playing at the dining hall.
However, the two novices began playing again as soon as the suspect left the hall.
Upon hearing the commotion again, the suspect returned to the dining hall, kicked the novices and whipped them using a cable, Cap Sameth said.
“He was angry at the two victims for playing in the dining hall, shouting and not respecting his authority as chief of the pagoda,” Cap Sameth said. “He held them, kicked them both and slapped them many times.”
“After the kicking and slapping, he tortured them by whipping them at least 10 times on their backs, causing serious injuries,” he added.
Cap Sameth said after the ordeal, the suspect went back to his room, while the two victims ran to their parents, who live in the commune.
After seeing the injuries, their parents sent the victims to the district health centre and lodged a police report against the suspect at the commune police post.
Cap Sameth added that the suspect was arrested by district police yesterday, noting that the arrest happened after he was defrocked by the provincial cults and religion department and the provincial chief of Buddhist monks.
Colonel Lanh Lisivleng, chief of district police, yesterday said the suspect is accused of intentional acts of violence, and that he could face up to two years in jail if convicted.
Col Lisivleng said the suspect is now detained at the district police station and will soon be sent to the provincial court to be questioned.