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Police general linked to 1976 crackdown commits suicide, leaving note about public transport plans

Feb 25. 2018
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By JESSADA JANTARAK.
SUPACHAI PHETTEWEE
THE NATION

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A CONTROVERSIAL retired police general jumped to his death at the age of 81 yesterday, leaving a note in which he wrote that he hoped it would be a “useful suicide”.

Pol General Salang Bunnag climbed over a fence on the seventh floor of Central Chaengwattana shopping complex in Nonthaburi province and jumped at about 11.30am.

“He had battled depression during the past few years,” his son, Pol Lt-Colonel Hemachak Bunnag, an inspector at Bangkok’s Din Daeng Police Station, said. 

 On Salang’s body was a suicide note saying that he had carefully contemplated suicide and decided to kill himself in the hope that his death would be useful. In the note, he voiced doubts about plans to develop one-metre, double-track and elevated railways. 

 “Push for autobahns,” the note recommended, referring to Europe’s high-speed motorways. 

The note urged people to help propagate such ideas. 

Salang also wrote to his friends, children and grandchildren asking them not to condemn him for his suicide. 

“I would like to apologise to all who love me,” he said. 

From the note, it appeared that Salang believed he would only live for less than two years even if he did not commit suicide. 

It is unclear whether he had illnesses other than depression. 

Born in 1937, Salang graduated from the Royal Police Cadet Academy. After joining the police force, he climbed up the career ladder and became deputy commissioner of the Royal Thai Police.

National police commissioner Pol General Chakthip Chaijinda has described Salang as a major contributor to the police force and Thailand. 

Salang’s life, however, was not without controversy. He was accused of playing a role in the 1976 massacre of students at Thammasat Univer-sity. 

Then in 1996, Salang also reportedly supervised a police operation that ended with the extra-judicial killings of six suspected drug traffickers. 

Salang’s family plans to hold his funeral at Debsirin Temple. 

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