BANGKOK, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Scuffle broke out in Thailand's controversial buddhism temple when its monks and followers tried to push police out around the temple, leaving some injuries, local media reported Monday.
According to a televised report, the clash happened Monday morning when hundreds of followers erected barricades to block police forces who were trying to enter Dhammakaya temple in search for its fugitive former abbot.
It's reported that the monk's supporters marched to guard Gate 5 and 6 of the 1,000-acre temple, which have been a focal point in all previous standoff between police and Dhammakaya because they link the temple's east and west where the search has not covered yet. The two sides pushed and shoved for nearly 20 minutes.
Local media said the scuffle injured two policemen, three monks and an elderly woman.
The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has launched a raid with more than 4,000 police forces to search for the wanted former abbot Phra Dhammachayo since last Thursday.
The raid began after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha issued an order under Section 44 of the interim constitution. However, the search team failed to find the monk.
The 72-year-old Dhammachayo is wanted for allegedly accepting more than a billion baht in donations that came from the president of a credit union who is in prison for embezzlement. He's also been charged with illegal land encroachment.
Leaders of the the temple maintain that the elderly former abbot is too ill to meet with the police to discuss the charges, and deny any knowledge of his whereabouts.