The Pursat Provincial Court on April 28 issued a detention order for a man who allegedly attacked a chief monk with a knife, causing severe injuries on the night of April 26.
Provincial deputy police chief in charge of serious crime Mo Lida said on April 28 that the suspect, Chheng Chhay, 38, cut the chief monk, Tep Ouch, 53, from his shoulder to under his right rib. The injury required more than 60 stitches. The incident happened at Baksey Chamkrong pagoda in O'Baktra village of Phnom Kravanh district's Prangil commune.
"The man was charged with aggravated assault and drug possession and illegal use of weapon," Lida said.
District police chief Hun Chan Thea said on April 28 that Chhay, an O'Baktra villager, had previously been a monk but had a history of violence and bad habits, prompting the chief monk to defrock him.
Later, he asked the chief monk to let him enter monkhood again, but he refused.
He said that on the night of April 26, while the chief monk was praying alone at the pagoda on Vesak Bochea day, the knife-wielding suspect crept in intending to stab him. The chief monk heard footsteps and shouted, at which point Chhay cut him.
According to the district police chief, monks and nuns heard the chief monk’s shout and ran to help him then took him to the district referral hospital. The suspect escaped, but police arrested him the next morning.
"Chhay was angry with Ouch because he had refused to let him become a monk again. Chhay also used drugs,” he said.