Two hundred Svay Rieng villagers, tired of their grievances falling on deaf ears and incensed by a recent shooting incident, sought a measure of justice for themselves on Wednesday with an official complaint against their commune police chief.
After three years of dissatisfaction with local policing, the Samlei commune villagers were prompted to action during a Khmer New Year party at which commune police chief Ma Sa Thoun’s son, a reputed troublemaker, started a fight, villager Kong Chhorn Pesith, 28, said.
“When the villagers were dancing, [the police chief] shot his gun towards the sky to break up the fight and make the villagers afraid,” Chhorn Pesith said.
No one was hurt in the shooting, but villagers lodged an official complaint against the cop they said habitually insulted them, responded ineffectively to complaints and served the law according to his own biases.
Sek Bon, a village chief in Samlei, said authorities received the complaint and that “local authorities will find a solution”.
Sa Thoun, however, defended his record yesterday. “They say that I am a police chief but my son is a gangster. I cannot educate him well, but it is not related [to my work]. I always defend security in the village well.”