Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Mentally ill’ man gets chained up for arsons

‘Mentally ill’ man gets chained up for arsons

‘Mentally ill’ man gets chained up for arsons

A So-called mentally ill man in Kampot province has been chained up by his parents after allegedly going on an arson spree that saw him set fire to a neighbour’s house and his own, police said yesterday.

Hoy Nem, Sdech Kong Kang Choeung commune police chief, said 26-year-old Chom Khna first set fire to the neighbour’s home early on Friday morning, leaving it seriously damaged.

“Khna said he was cold and then he burned the house to warm himself,” he said.

“After he burned the villager’s house … he burned two piles of hay nearby.”

While his father attempted to put out the flames with the help of other villagers, Khna returned to his family home and also set that alight.

Luckily, Nem said, the second fire was put out quickly, leaving only minimal damage. But attempts to arrest Khna were unsuccessful.

“The man’s father and villagers reported to us that he had burned the houses so we went down in order to intervene and we tried to stop the man from doing it again.

“But we could not arrest him at the time because he had a big stone with him and threw it at us,” he explained.

According to police and family members, Khna – who was shackled by his family – remained chained up yesterday by his hand and leg.

After 10 years working as a construction worker in Phnom Penh, Khna had returned to Kampot by foot in April.

Since his return, Nem said, Khna had displayed unusual behaviour.

“We suspected that while he worked in Phnom Penh he used drugs,” he added.

Khna’s brother-in-law, Min Chab, however, said the change had been more recent and was likely not brought on by his experiences in the capital.

“He changed to a person who did not act normally last week when he burned the houses,” he said.

He added that the family plans to send Khna for treatment at a hospital in Vietnam.

The Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation (TPO), which is currently raising funds to support efforts targeted at unchaining people like Khna, said that inappropriate and destructive behaviour are often a “contributing factor to desperate family members” chaining up their loved ones.

According to TPO, a lack of access to mental health services in rural communities and a lack of awareness about mental health issues also contribute to the problem.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’