The move followed a petition to the Provincial Police Region 5 Office by a 50-strong group of Lahu hill-tribe villagers from Ban Huay Krai Mai earlier in the afternoon, which called for the transfer of the policemen involved in the killing of Jajua Ja-or within seven days or they would file a complaint with the Justice Ministry and the prime minister.
Panudech said that the order to have the police station’s deputy superintendent Pol Lt-Colonel Triloj Pundee and six officers, namely Pol Captain Prawet Chumkaew, Pol Captain Charan Chaichompoo, as well as Pol Senior Sergeant Majors Somjit Khanthaprap, Niran Wongnai, Chatchawal Wonghan, and Jatupong Yosdech, stay away from Wiang Haeng was issued to calm the villagers during this period. A neutral fact-finding committee assigned by Chiang Mai governor Supachai Iamsuwan would later present its findings and recommend whether or not the seven officers should be transferred permanently or if they should resume their duties in Wiang Haeng, he said.
Panudech also insisted that police had gone by the book in attempting to arrest Jajua, who was wanted on an arrest warrant issued by a Chiang Mai court on November 6, 2018 for drug offences in Chiang Dao district. He said police found Jajua riding pillion on another villager’s motorcycle and gave chase resulting in the motorcycle on which Jajua was travelling crashing. He allegedly opened fire, shooting twice at the police officers and forcing the officers to fire back, resulting in Jajua's death.
However, in their July 25 statement, the villagers claimed the man was innocent and had no gun. They called the police’s “overly violent reaction” a violation of human rights and demanded the immediate transfer of the officers involved in the killing to make way for a neutral party to conduct a fair and transparent investigation.
Published : July 31, 2019
By : Thanakorn Wongnang The Nation