A Norodom Ranariddh Party activist was seriously injured with a machete during a Sunday brawl with CPP officials in Kompong Cham province, Batheay district police and a rights worker said Monday.
The fracas erupted when NRP activist Sai Sok hit CPP deputy Chankong village chief Khot Khin with a chair after being told he could not receive sarongs and rice being handed out by a visiting senior CPP official, said Sim Heang, investigator for local rights group Adhoc.
Nhiek Chev, the village’s CPP representative, then tried to break up the scuffle but Sai Sok punched him, Sim Heang said.
“Nhiek Chev [then] attacked Sai Sok with a machete,” Sim Heang alleged. Nhiek Chev fled the scene and Sai Sok is recovering in hospital, Sim Heang said. “[This case] is not involved with politics,” he said.
Noranarith Anandayath, advisor to Prince Norodom Ranariddh, claimed the attack was politically motivated because Nhiek Chev and Sai Sok had been discussing politics at the time.
Ith Leang, district police chief, said police believe the attack was not politically motivated. “It was just a normal dispute after they got drunk,” he said.
Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith accused Noranarith Anandayath of imitating the SRP by falsely claiming that attacks on party members were politically motivated.