Sun, October 17, 2021

in-focus

Police vow no retreat from Din Daeng rally site when curfew lifted


Bangkok police have warned they will not ease pressure on Thalu Gas protesters when the curfew is lifted, which is likely to be at the end of this month. The warning means nightly clashes at Din Daeng intersection that have disrupted local life for weeks are likely to continue into November.

Locals complain that police douse the area in stinging tear gas almost every evening, while Thalu Gas youths on motorbikes rampage violently through the neighbourhood.

Anti-riot officers have also unleashed water cannons and rubber bullets in Din Daeng against protesters wielding firecrackers, slingshots and ping-pong bombs.

The Thalu Gas group of mainly working-class youths have disavowed the nonviolent tactics of the student-led protest movement.

Metropolitan Police deputy commissioner Piya Tawichai said Tuesday evening’s rally at the intersection in north Bangkok followed the same pattern of violence.

Protesters threw giant firecrackers, and fired catapults, flares and various small explosives at officers and local residents near the Royal Thai Army band HQ and the Veterans Hospital, he said.

Property was also set ablaze under the expressway, while protesters burned motorcycle tyres on the road causing thick, black smoke to pollute the air, Piya said.

Police had a duty to prevent violence in the city whether or not a curfew is in place, he added.

However, officers would reduce their use of tear gas in Din Daeng after receiving complaints from locals, he said.

Published : September 22, 2021