Posted by Amechi Obiakpu, Lagos | 24 February 2015 | 3,023 times
A 32-year-old Campodian has been hacked to death over a killing allegedly linked to the death of a family buffalo over 10 years ago, reports Anadolu Agency.
Khorn Sopha, 32, was hacked to death with an axe wielded by 20-year-old Khien Vichaka as he left a wedding in Prey Veng Province on Sunday night.
Quoting the Cambodian local media, Anadolu reports that Vichaka has been on the run since he committed the heinous act, a crime that highlights the importance of cattle to rural families.
“Police believe the motive relates to the accidental killing of a calf that belonged to Vichaka’s family by the victim, who never compensated them,” the report said.
It quoted local district police chief Chan Rith as saying police were aware of a simmering feud between the families of both men, for what he said was the accidental killing of the young animal.
The victim died on his way to hospital and the perpetrator is on the run, though police have said they believe they will apprehend him before he gets too far as he ditched his motorbike nearby.
According to the World Bank, agriculture accounts for more than 33 percent of Cambodia’s gross domestic product and crops such as rice and cassava are predominant.
Sam Vitou, Executive Director of the Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture, told The Anadolu Agency on Tuesday that cattle are a serious investment for farming families.
“For the buffalo or the cattle, they are used mostly as draught animals and they are expensive, from $300 or $500 to even $1,000 as a calf,” he said. “It depends on the variety. They spend a lot of money for the draught animals not only to use them for ploughing the field, but also for collecting the [excrement] to make fertilizer.”
A female calf is a good investment, he said, because they can produce calves “every two or three years,” which families can keep or sell on.
He said the importance of the animals to farming communities could not be understated, despite the industrialisation of the sector in recent years, because before that, “they were really needed for the farmers, they are like family members and their lives are mostly linked together.”
He said while not common, he had heard about similar revenge killings.
•Photo shows a buffalo calf.
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