(15 April) An anti-government protest guard has been shot dead after a fight broke out among the guards at their Bangkok rally site, police said.
Erawan Rescue Centre identified the victim as Mr. Jirayuth Senanarong, 40, who was serving as a volunteer guard for the People's Committee for Absolute Democracy With the King As Head of State (PCAD) at the rally site at Lumpini Park.
Reports say Mr. Jirayuth was shot inside the park at around 02.00. He later died from a gunshot wound to his chest, bringing the total protest-related fatalities to 22 since the latest wave of anti-government movements erupted in November of last year.
Pol.Lt.Gen. Suebsak Pansura of the Bangkok Metropolitan Police said in press conference that PCAD guards have barred police officers from entering the area to inspect the crime scene and question the witnesses.
According to Pol.Lt.Gen. Suebsak, PCAD guards have claimed that the police must wait until their celebration of Songkran (traditional Thai New Year) festival in the park is over before any crime scene inspection can be conducted.
But Pol.Lt.Gen. Suebsak said the police must enter the area quickly otherwise any evidence might be lost.
Nevertheless, he said he had been informed by Mr. Thaworn Senniam, a PCAD core activist, that the incident was caused by an internal dispute among the guards.
According to the officer, Mr. Thaworn told him that fistfights broke out between some guards. Mr. Jirayuth reportedly attempted to intervene and break up the fights, only to be shot dead by one of the combatants.
"We suspect the incident was caused by a fight inside the rally site. The shot was not fired from outside the park," Pol.Lt.Gen. Suebsak said, adding that no suspects have been apprehended at the moment.
He said the police at Lumpini Police Station are working to secure permission from PCAD leaders in order to inspect the crime in due time.
For comments, or corrections to this article please contact: [email protected]