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Violent students to be drafted into Army automatically

From now on, students from vocational schools who are regarded as troublemakers or have a history of violence will be automatically conscripted to the Army as soon as they reach the correct age, Army chief General Prayuth Chanocha announced yesterday.

However, he said, this policy would be shortterm and might even be cancelled if it succeeds in preventing or reducing violence between rivalling schools.

This latest policy comes after a compulsory military drill was imposed on a number of troublemakers and those involved in recent brawls. Prayuth did not say when this new policy would go into effect.

"The troublemakers will be drafted automatically, instead of being selected from a list of names. Let's see if they turn out to be good soldiers as they have been showing off in their school years," he added.

The general said he hoped that both the automatic conscription and the current bootcamp drills could help the youngsters realise the consequences of violence while constituting good values in Thai society.

Meanwhile, police yesterday stopped 30 students from a vocational school in Bangkok's Bang Khunthien district from attacking a group of students from a rival school when they converged near Soi 50 on Rama II Road.

The students initially denied that they were preparing for an attack and said they had gathered to prevent an attack from their enemies. Though police did not find any weapons on the students' bodies, they found a bag containing 14 knives and a club hidden nearby. However, the students denied ownership of the weapons.

Since the students were between 18 and 20 years old, they were considered adults and taken to Tha Kham police station to be registered and will undergo a disciplinary course later. They were eventually picked up from the station by their parents.


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