Angry monk beats dog-lover

PHUKET CITY: With no end in sight to Phuket’s stray dog problem and residents continuing to dump unwanted pets at temples around the island, monks find it difficult to keep temple grounds clean.

On Friday morning last week, one senior monk grew so angry with an elderly dog lover who had come to his temple to feed the dogs that he beat the man over the head with a stick, causing a gaping wound that required 40 stitches to close.

The victim, 66-year-old Phuket native Wanchai Kongsawad, told the Gazette that at 7:30 am he went to feed the dogs at the temple near his home.

“My house is behind the temple, so I have to pass through its grounds often. This happened because the Phra ordered me to clean up dog faeces, thinking that the dog that left them was mine. I tried to explain that this wasn’t the case, and the Phra grew very angry. He picked up a stick and started hitting me over the head with it,” he said.

The beating shattered the motorcycle crash helmet K. Wanchai was wearing and opened a gaping head wound. With blood streaming from the wound, K. Wanchai rode to Phuket City Police Station to file a complaint.

From there he was escorted to Vachira Phuket Hospital, where doctors closed the wound with 40 stitches. K. Wanchai also suffered a bruised wrist from the beating.

“I love animals, and although my income – I am a security guard – is small, I use part of it to feed dogs at the temple. But I never bring my own dogs there. The cats and dogs at the temple have been abandoned there, so I take pity on them,” he explained three days after the attack.

“I feel better now and my wound is healing. As I live near the temple, Pol Maj Kaneuing Pitakkultorn helped to work out a cash settlement with the monk, because he did not want there to be an ongoing dispute between the temple and laypeople living in the area. I have already received 10,000 baht in compensation from the monk,” he said.

Maj Kaneuing told the Gazette that the cash settlement he had brokered had resolved the dispute. He said that the monk had recently mobilized novice monks in a campaign to clean up the grounds. Although it was done as an act of kindness, K. Wanchai’s feeding of dogs at the temple without cleaning up after them had caused the temple to become dirty, he said.

Phuket News

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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