Worshippers demand senior monk's expulsion from temple

Worshippers demand senior monk's expulsion from temple

Local residents demonstrate with placards demanding the expulsion of the abbot of Wat Chom Sri in Muang district of Phetchabun on Sunday. (Photo by Soonthorn Kongwarakhom)
Local residents demonstrate with placards demanding the expulsion of the abbot of Wat Chom Sri in Muang district of Phetchabun on Sunday. (Photo by Soonthorn Kongwarakhom)

PHETCHABUN: About 100 local residents rallied to demand the removal of a senior monk after a video posted on social media showed him hugging a man in a shop.

Tambon Nam Roon chief Wanchai Sripim on Sunday led about 100 local worshippers to demonstrate outside Wat Chom Sri in Muang district. He later walked into the temple grounds shouting "get out" and showing posters with messages demanding the abbot, Phra Mitr, leave the temple.

However, Phra Mitr was not there. He had gone to Bangkok.

The rally was held after a video clip aired showing the monk hugging a store manager and touching the man's groin in a shop in the district on Sept 23.

The shopkeeper later registered an indecency complaint against Phra Mitr at Muang police station. The man, whose name was withheld, also quit his job, but said the decision was not related to the video clip.

Pol Maj Sanon Sanon Janjinda, who is handling the case, said police were gathering and examining  evidence to substantiate the complaint.

The protesters later met provincial chief monk Phra Sri Patcharodom. They gave him a copy of the video clip and asked that Phra Mitr be removed. 

Akkarachai Daipholthanya, director of the Provincial Buddhism Office, said a committee had been set up to look into the matter. It would need to talk to Phra Mirt when he came back from Bangkok. When he would return was not known.


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