BANGKOK:- A nine-year-old Buddhist novice has died after a beating by a Thai monk who allegedly battered him with a stick and slammed his head against a pillar, officials said Friday. Monk Suphachai Suthiyano, 64, flew into a rage during a prayer session last weekend when the young disciple disrupted the ceremony with his "playful" behaviour. The monk allegedly assaulted Wattanapol Sisawad with a bamboo stick at the temple in Kanchanaburi, two hours west of Bangkok, striking him on his back several times before bashing his head into a pillar.

The child fell into a coma and passed away late Thursday, a hospital worker at Kanchanaburi provincial hospital told AFP on Friday, requesting anonymity.

The incident comes as Thailand, a majority-Buddhist country, grapples with multiple other scandals among its clergy, including cases of extortion, sex and drug use.