MORE than 100 families from Kaoh Tamov village in Kampong Chhnang province’s Baribour district have called for Prime Minister Hun Sen to intervene in a land dispute between the villagers and a businessman after the provincial court summoned six villagers for questioning over the row.
Village representative Yien Sitha said on Wednesday that businessman Khat Sary had secretly obtained title deeds to 82 hectares of rice fields and 68 hectares of forest that villagers claim have belonged to them since 1981.
He said that six villagers were summoned for questioning by Kampong Chhnang provincial court on Tuesday after Khat Sary filed complaints against 30 villagers, accusing them of land-grabbing and destruction of private property in relation to the dispute.
Sam Chan Kea, the provincial investigator for Adhoc, said the local rights group would “take measures to push the court to launch an investigation … to find out who are the owners of the land before taking criminal measures related to the case of destroying others’ property”.
Meanwhile, Yien Sitha said the village would stand firm in the dispute.
“We still continue to grow crops on the disputed land because we have been working on the land for a long time,” he said.
Provincial court officials could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.