Many injured and one dies of heart attack during violent protest in Bangkok Sunday night

Ninety police were injured and one died of a heart attack in clashes between anti-riot police and Free Youth protesters, known as the “Redem” (Restart Democracy), near an army unit in Bangkok’s Bangkhen district on Sunday night. 27 of the injured police were hospitalized while 22 protesters have been detained by the police. 10 protesters were also injured.

The dead police officer will be posthumously promoted by three ranks and his family will receive 2.7 million baht initial compensation, with his children to be accepted into the police service if they want to join the force.

According to the Erawan Centre, the dead police officer was identified as Pol Captain Vivat Sinsert, attached to Thammasala police station, who was assigned to control the protesting crowd.  He collapsed during the protest and was pronounced dead on his arrival at Rajavithi hospital.

Most of the injured police suffered bruises and other wounds caused by bricks and other projectiles, which were hurled at them by the protesters, whereas the protesters sustained injuries from tear gas and rubber bullets.

Pol Col Krisana Pattanacharoen, deputy spokesman of the Royal Thai Police, said today (Monday) that the protesters had defied repeated warnings that their protest was against the law and had provoked violence by damaging barricades, erected by the police to prevent them from getting close to the First Infantry Battalion of the First Infantry Regiment of the Royal Guards, on the outbound side of Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.

He also said that the police were forced to fire rubber bullets and use water cannons to disperse the protesters and to restore peace and order.

He insisted that police had responded proportionately, adding that their duty is to enforce the law.

The Free Youth movement, an offshoot of the anti-establishment Ratsadon group, accused the police of resorting to excessive force against the protesters.

The Redem protesters are demanding the curtailing of thepowers of parliament, the depoliticizing of the military and equal access to state welfare.

A number of protesters moved to the Din Daeng police station and went on the rampage, setting fire to a police patrol car and motorcycles and breaking windows, as they demanded that the police release their detained colleagues.

About 20 army volunteers went to the police station this morning, to help clean up the area and to remove paint sprayed by the protesters.

A police officer later said that they would ask an insurance company to inspect the damage with a view to claimingcompensation.

Several shipping containers, which were placed in front of the army unit in Bangkhen, are still there today.

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