The abbot of a pagoda in Koh Kong province was arrested yesterday after he allegedly attacked a construction worker with an axe when he found him slacking on the job.
Song Panha, 28, had only recently been promoted to the position of chief abbot when he allegedly attacked Heng Pitou on Sunday. Pitou was hired by the order to build new rooms at the Koh Sralao pagoda in Koh Kong district.
Panha and Pitou argued after the monk walked in on the builder playing chess, leading to Panha swinging an axe at the unsuspecting labourer, police said.
Following a protest against the monk’s impending defrocking, provincial chief monk Heng Sambo, 63, said the decision had been reversed “for the sake of Buddhism”.
Pitou’s brother-in-law, Sam Socheat, 59, said: “We want him defrocked and to face legal action, because he attempted to kill my brother in-law,” he said.