The father of a 14-year-old left fighting for his life after a Ratanakkiri land scuffle says he will use his land title as collateral to secure a mortgage loan to pay for his son’s surgery.
“I am taking my land title to the bank, so that I can borrow more than $1,000 to have my son operated on. We are deeply concerned, because he is in serious condition,” 52-year-old Ry Sarun told the Post yesterday.
The man’s three children and another villager were allegedly attacked by DM Group workers on Saturday after they tried to intervene in the company’s clearing of their father’s titled land that he refused to sell to the company.
His teenage son was beaten with an iron bar on the head and ribs leaving him with such severe injuries that had had to be taken to a hospital in Vietnam for treatment.
Four workers responsible for the alleged violence were charged in court on Sunday evening with intentional violence and placed in pre-trial detention, with another worker charged in absentia after he escaped.
If convicted, the workers can be imprisoned for between one and three years and fined a maximum of six million riel ($1,500).
A soldier who was also arrested was allowed to walk free after his military unit sent documents to the court proving that he was legally allowed to carry a gun, deputy provincial prosecutor Ros Saram said.
A provincial military commander told the Post on Sunday that the man, said to be a DM Group driver, was not involved in the fighting and was only arrested because he was armed.