January 23, 2014 00:00 By WISIT CHUANPIPATPONG THE NATI
EIGHTY-FOUR DAYS of anti-government rallying in Bangkok have seen a total of nine deaths and 554 injuries, while the authorities intercepted 44 guns and five explosives. The casualties were reported by the Erawan Emergency Medical Service Centre, as of
One reason given for the caretaker government to implement the emergency decree covering the capital and its outskirts for 60 days was the violence and weapons usage leading to deaths and injuries.
The People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) and its allies launched the protest on October 31, 2013, when the House passed the amnesty bill. Violent incidents broke out around the rally sites and worsened during the “Bangkok Shutdown”.
A total of five M26 and RGD-5 type hand grenades were hurled at Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva’s home, Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra's Suan Pakkard Palace, the marching protesters on Banthad Thong Road, and the rally’s backstage area at Victory Monument.
Some explosives were also used to threaten individuals.
Other indicating factors of potential violence were the seizures by police of guns and explosives.
The Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order reported the following weapon seizures during arrests (excluding those seized from checkpoints around rally sites), as well as missing weapons, from October 31, 2013 to January 16, 2014:
1. 44 guns seized as evidence and another 27 guns reported stolen or missing during the Thai-Japanese Stadium and Labour Ministry clashes.
2. The guns seized from the Ramkhamhaeng and Thai-Japanese Stadium clashes were mostly pistols. The Ramkham-haeng incident yielded 34 spent cartridges and seven spent bullets from the 18 guns involved (.45, .38 spc, 9mm, .32 (long), .32 (7.65), .25, and .22LR calibres). The clash between the Student and People Network for Thailand’s Reform (STR) protesters and riot police yielded 6 spent cartridges and 31 spent bullets from 16 guns involved (.32, 9mm, .38 spc and .45).
A police source in the investigation into protest guards’ shooting around rally sites said the .38 calibre bullets used were found to be fired from homemade guns.