Military police injured by protesters wielding cassava knives during a stand-off in Kratie province last week planned to take those protesters to court, police representatives said yesterday.
Provincial deputy military police chief Mao Rainny, who was one of six officers injured in the protest, told the Post the officers had met and agreed to file the complaint soon.
“We already know [the villagers’] identities, so we will file a complaint against them for intentional injury,” Mao Rainny said.
More than 300 villagers from Pi Thnou commune, in Snuol district, blocked National Road 76A last week in a bid to seek a resolution to a 15-month land dispute with the Sovann Vuthy company there.
Mao Rainny said the injured officers intended to take only three or four ringleaders to court.
“In the name of the law, we are officers who work for villagers, and we have to be patient even though they blame us,” he said. “But we will not allow ringleaders to make a problem for us.”
Ke Sophan, deputy military police chief in Snuol district, said the six injured officers had suffered knife slashes to their hands, heads and necks.
“We are very hurt. We had guns, but we dare not use them against the villagers because we are afraid they will accuse us of using weapons to threaten villagers, so we let them do what they want,” Ke Sophan said.
Kratie deputy governor Sar Cham Rong said he had no information about the military officers’ intent to file a complaint against protesters.
“The people who should file a complaint are the traffic police, because villagers acted outside the law by blocking the road,” Sar Cham Rong said.
Villager representative Mom Eng, 55, said the military police had used violence first and that villagers had used their cassava knives only to defend themselves.
“We did not file a complaint against them – why do they file a complaint against us?” he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: May Titthara at [email protected]