On January 13th, 2024, Ban Dung Update, a Facebook page, received a report of a former monk physically assaulting an abbot at the Pho Chai temple, Ban Dung, Udon Thani.
The Ban Dung Update team went to the Pho Chai temple and found more than 30 local residents surrounding the temple to discuss the conflict between a monk and an abbot. The monk, publicly identified as Mr. Phanom Chuenta, 52, appeared to be intoxicated and slurring his speech, according to local media.
Mr. Kritsada Jitsoparungroj, a 33-year-old local resident, said to local media that Phanom, a former monk, had been at Pho Chai temple for 2 years and was favored by locals as he behaved nicely at first. Recently, Phanom barely slept at night, caused a ruckus, had dinner (Monks are prohibited from eating after noon), and did not perform monastic duties, said Kritsada.
However, the abbot had criticized Phayom for his inappropriate behavior for many times causing him to hold grudges against the abbot. Phayom was extremely angry and physically assaulted the abbot before Phayom was ordered to leave the Buddhist monkhood, local media reported.
The local media reported that Phayom did not want to leave his cubicle after leaving the Buddhist monkhood. Ban Dung police officers were asked to settle the situation as Phayom caused a ruckus and resisted leaving the cubicle.
However, an acquaintance of Phayom finally came to pick him up and Phayom agreed to leave, said local media.
It was not immediately made clear if any legal charges would be processed in regard to the incident.