Police have filed charges against 14 technology college students for their alleged roles in Tuesday's brawl in Bangkok's Suan Luang district that led to one death and one injury, the acting metropolitan police commissioner said yesterday.
Pol Maj-General Sanit Mahathavorn said the students claimed the brawl stemmed from a long-standing college rivalry, not personal conflict. Police said they would organise a two-night camp for the students of various colleges to boost friendly relations between them, he said.
Some of the students, including Abhisit Leulai, 20, were paraded before the media along with various items of evidence, including a handmade pistol, a pen gun and six knives. Two of his 18-year-old schoolmates were also paraded before the media.
Sanit said seven students, including two shooters aged 16 and 17, surrendered at 4am yesterday. Abhisit’s seven-strong group had also been placed under arrest.
While both sides were charged with carrying weapons in a public place without permission, Abhisit’s rivals also faced charges of murder and attempted murder.
Members of one group claimed they were waiting at a bus stop near Iam Sombat Market when Abhisit’s followers came along on a city bus and threatened them with a pen gun. Two students on a motorcycle shot at Abhisit’s group and forced them off the bus.
“I don’t know how it happened. I tried to stop the fight. People saw I was on the bus and my group didn’t force the bus to pull over,” Abhisit said. He added that he had already lost a friend in a previous fight and he had only just returned to class after a long break.
Meanwhile, Education Minister Dapong Ratanasuwan yesterday told his ministerial executives to integrate efforts to solve the problem of brawling students. He was responding to a directive issued by Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday.
Dapong urged colleges to search their students for weapons and warn youngsters of the serious penalties for fighting. Dapong said he would discuss with Justice Minister General Paiboon Koomchaya more concrete measures to stop student brawling.