Thirty villagers on the capital’s Chroy Changvar peninsula yesterday blocked National Road 6 with metal gates after authorities blocked a thoroughfare they had previously used to access the arterial road, only to be dispersed by the police later.
About 12 families from the district’s Prek village were prevented from using a piece of land they had previously used to cross from their village to the national road after the land’s owner, Meas Chhun, received a court order giving him exclusive use.
Preab Mony, Prek Leab commune chief, said Chhun had a land title for the plot but had previously allowed villagers to use it, as there were no other access points to the main road. But, when other crossings were built, he decided to take back the land.
“We were only implementing the court order,” Mony said. “We asked them [villagers] to complain to the court and not to block National Road 6.”
Despite Chhun’s land title, village resident Ming Nang insisted that the plot in question was public land.
“We know that we have new roads to cross over and it is not far away, but this piece of land belongs to public and is not privately owned,” she said.