21 May 2024

Police have blamed rival vocational college students, who act as security guards for the Ratsadon group, for the shooting at the Siam Commercial Bank head office after the protest late last night.

Pol Maj-Gen Piya Tavichai, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, told a news conference this morning (Thursday) that, after the protest ended at about 10pm, a heated quarrel erupted between two groups of guards, followed by the throwing of firecrackers and the firing of gunshots.

One guard was shot in the abdomen and was rushed to Rama 9 Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery. After almost three hours in theatre, the guard is out of danger, according to Dr. Tosaporn Sererak, former Pheu Thai MP, who has become a regular face at protests organized by Ratsadon or its affiliated groups.

Pol Maj-Gen Piya said that police investigators have questioned at least three witnesses, who claimed that rival guards had quarreled before the protest was over, a dispute which continued after most protesters had dispersed.

He identified the two rival groups as being one from Min Buri Polytechnic College and the other from Pathumwan College. He insisted that no third parties or outsiders were involved.

Responding to a reporter’s question about the shooting, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha expressed regret and said he has instructed the police to uncover the truth, in order to avoid finger-pointing and the likelihood that the government would be blamed.

He maintained that the government’s responsibility is to ensure safety for all protest groups, without any bias, adding that he has been pleading with protesters to comply with the law.

He asked protesters to take into consideration the impacts of the protests on the country’s economy and on the people suffering from traffic woes caused by them.

Related story: Injured security guard out of danger after bullet removed from his abdomen