Police decide to pursue legal action against Chana Rak Thin protesters
The Metropolitan Police Bureau announced on Wednesday that it was collecting evidence to pursue legal action against Chana Rak Thin protesters, who had been camping outside Government House since early this month, despite the group having already dispersed at 7am on Wednesday and heading home to Songkhla.
The group, protesting against the Chana Industrial Estate project in Songkhla’s Chana district, agreed to go home on Wednesday after the cabinet resolved to delay the controversial project until a strategic environmental assessment was completed and after the prime minister ordered a fact-checking committee to be set up.
“By gathering at Chamai Maruchet Bridge near Government House, the protesters violated the Emergency Decree in this Covid-19 situation as well as the Communicable Disease Act,” Metropolitan Police deputy chief Maj-General Jirasan Kaewsaengaek said on Wednesday.
“As for the protesters who had been arrested earlier, they have already been charged and are now facing legal action.”
Some 50 members of the Chana Rak Thin group had gathered outside Government House on the evening of December 6, blocking traffic in and out of the building and prompting crowd control police to dissolve the gathering to restore the smooth flow of traffic.
Police arrested 37 protesters – 31 women and six men – after the rally dissolved at 9.30pm on December 6, but in the next several days more demonstrators showed up until the group ballooned to more than 300 people.
They also demanded that all legal action against the 37 protesters arrested earlier be dropped.
Jirasan said that since July 2020 the bureau had been working on 806 cases involving rallies in Bangkok. Of these, 406 cases have already been submitted to prosecutors, while 400 are still under investigation.