BANGKOK — An opposition lawmaker challenged a proposal by the Royal Thai Police to buy more anti-riot equipment at the price tag of 30 million baht.
The purchase was announced on a police website, which stated that the force will buy 195,000 baht worth of chemical foams used in police cannon trucks from ABC Protection Supply; 23,166,000 baht of tear gas from K Tree Corporation; and over 12 million baht of Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRADs, from Engineering Reward (Thailand).
Throughout the past year, riot police often deployed those gears during clashes and skirmishes with anti-government protesters, leading to a number of injuries. Police have branded those gatherings as unlawful, since public assemblies are currently banned under the coronavirus emergency law.
Thai Sang Thai Party politician Nittcha Boonlue criticized the planned purchase. Nittcha said the money could have been better spent on other urgent matters, like tackling the coronavirus spread, proliferation of drugs, and crimes.
She also worried that the new lot of riot equipment would be used to suppress dissidents.
“Is it right for the law enforcement to pour their budget into buying up these gears to control or crush people who think differently, in order to serve those in power?” Nittcha asked.