A defrocked senior monk who hit a 14-year-old monk in the head with a plate was charged with intentional violence and put in jail for pretrial detention, according to Takeo authorities.
The provincial court charged Noun Chhany, a second deputy chief monk at Trop Ko pagoda in Bati district’s Trapaing Sap commune, with intentional violence, said Nget Davuth, secretary of the Takeo provincial administration.
“The prosecutor charged him with intentional violence, and they will proceed with further law enforcement,” Davuth said.
Chhany, 32, allegedly struck a 14-year-old monk at his pagoda with a plate two times on Wednesday morning after the boy got into a verbal argument with another underage peer. The 14-year-old was sent to the hospital with bleeding cuts on his head on Wednesday and later discharged, while the senior monk was defrocked and arrested within an hour of his act.
Khut Lo, Bati district’s deputy police chief, said that police had sent the case against Chhany to the provincial court on Friday after visiting Trop Ko pagoda and finding evidence of the attack.
“The police sent him to prison. We already implemented the law,” Lo said on Friday.
Intentional violence carries a punishment of up to three years in prison and fine of up to $1,250.
Seng Somony, the Cult and Religions Ministry’s spokesperson, said he has no further comment as the police and Buddhist provincial committee already did their job.
Meanwhile, Justice Ministry spokesperson Chin Malin said those who use violence should be punished accordingly.
“And how they will be punished, the court has the right to decide based on the evidence and what actually happened,” he said.
Adhoc director Ny Sokha agreed that violence should not be condoned in pagodas and other settings, but said using violence as a punitive measure is relatively common in Cambodia.
“I do not support the use of violence like this. And if they do, they could face law enforcement,” he said.