Family asks police to look into abbot’s death

Police have been asked to investigate the death of a 58-year-old temple abbot in Yasothon based on the suspicion he died in mysterious circumstances.

Mungkorn Rupphai, 51, a village headman of tambon Sam Yaek, visited the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) in Bangkok Wednesday seeking an investigation into the death of his uncle, Phra Khru Kosol Thammakorn, the abbot of Wat Burapa Nongsim in Roeng Nok Tha district.

Mr Mungkorn said his uncle was found dead in the temple’s pond on July 28.

The village headman said the abbot was bleeding from the nose and mouth although no bruises were found in his body.

The pond, which is about 2.5 metres deep, was one of the abbot’s favourite leisure spots in the temple. He routinely dropped by to feed the fish and often spent the night in living quarters built in the middle of the pond, his nephew claimed.

Mr Mungkorn said an initial autopsy revealed the abbot’s lungs had taken in 5 millilitres of water.

He said relatives suspect foul play may have been involved.

Shortly before the abbot died, homeless people and drug addicts were seen roaming the temple grounds. Some pestered visitors for money, Mr Mungkorn said.

He described his uncle as being healthy and strong, and certainly fit enough to swim to safety in the event he fell into the pond.

He said the family needed the CSD’s help to settle the facts in the case.

CSD officers questioned the abbot’s relatives and forwarded the case to their superiors, who will decide whether to launch an investigation.

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