A 45-YEAR-OLD woman whose house stands to be affected by a railway project in Banteay Meanchey province has fled after a local official accused her of attempted murder, a charge her husband yesterday described as unfounded.
Lok Soeung, 47, said his wife, Veng Thong, fled their village in Poipet town on Saturday following an argument with Vath Cheng, who was measuring the section of their house that will be affected by the railway.
Vath Cheng, the deputy chief of a group of families that are set to lose all or part of their houses to the project, later that day filed a complaint accusing Veng Thong of trying to stab him to death, Lok Soeung said.
Lok Soeung said he was approached by an unidentified military police officer yesterday who told him that his wife “is the subject of an attempted murder complaint”.
“She had no intention to kill Vath Cheng, but she was chopping a mango to eat when she was arguing with him about relocation land,” Lok Soeung said.
“Now I did not know where my wife is. She is still afraid that she will be arrested if she returns home.”
Vath Cheng said yesterday that, at the time of his altercation with Veng Thong, he had been counting the families in his group that would be eligible for compensation as a result of the railway project.
Explaining how compensation would be administered, he said the families who lose 50 percent of their homes would receive US$200, and that those who lose their entire homes would receive a plot of relocation land and an undisclosed sum of money.
He said that Lok Soeung and Veng Thong would likely not receive any compensation because only a small section of their house would be affected.
When he tried to explain this to Veng Thong, he said, she “attempted to stab me with a knife”.
Men Phirum, deputy chief of the military police in Poipet, said yesterday that he had not yet seen Vath Cheng’s complaint but that he would look into it.
Vath Cheng said the relocation process for families in Poipet that stand to be affected by the project – designed to be part of the proposed Trans-Asia Railway linking Singapore to Kunming, the capital of southwestern China’s Yunnan province – would commence in October.
The plots given to relocated families will measure 7 metres by 15 metres, he added.