AN Apsara Authority official said yesterday that the body would sue a homeowner who allegedly hired security guards to defend an unauthorised construction on his property, which lies within a protected area of Siem Reap district’s Thnal village.
Prom Karona, director of the Apsara Authority’s Public Order and Cooperation Department, said around 70 security guards hired by
homeowner Ros Chhoudeth had threatened and injured members of a team of around 30 Apsara Authority officials and workers who had attempted to shut down construction on the property on Friday.
“We will sue him for preventing our officials from enforcing the law,” he said.
“We are preparing the documents.”
He said Apsara Authority employees had gone to the property to tear down around 20 metres of corrugated tin fencing on Friday, after Ros Chhoudeth had twice ignored orders to stop construction in the area.
Ros Chhoudeth yesterday denied that he had hired security guards to defend the site, and said that he had only been trying to build a garden on his own property.
He said Apsara Authority officials clashed with a group of around 10 of his construction workers who were on the property to collect their monthly wages.
He said that he had applied “a long time ago” for permission to build the garden, and that he had eventually begun the unauthorised construction out of frustration after the Apsara Authority failed to respond.
Kim Sophat, a villager who witnessed the clash, also said that there were no security guards on the property when “armed forces” sent by the Apsara Authority arrived on Friday.
He said that the Apsara Authority officials had clashed violently with a group of approximately 10 construction workers.
“It is so cruel. They stepped on the workers’ necks and beat them with mobile radios,” he said.
He said none of the workers had been arrested, but that some had been hospitalised with head injuries.
The Apsara Authority, a government body responsible for the protection of Angkor Archaeological Park, which encompasses around 400 square kilometres of land in Siem Reap, has pledged to hold a public forum in order to explain rules concerning construction in the area, following criticism that it is too restrictive.