Police, troops join hands to set up checkpoints at rally sites
May 17, 2014 00:00 By The Nation
Police, troops and guards for the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) will work together to set up checkpoints around the PDRC rally site to provide safety for protesters.
The move comes in the wake of a deadly attack on Thursday, which killed three protesters and injured many others.
Deputy Metropolitan Commissioner Pol Maj-General Chantawit Ramasutra said yesterday the checkpoints, which will be about 100 metres from the rally site, were designed to prevent more attacks and the smuggling of weapons into the area.
The new checkpoint structure follows discussion on safety plans between the police and PDRC representatives. The PDRC has not previously allowed police to join the checkpoints or enter its rally sites.
In the early hours of Thursday, several M79 grenades were fired at protesters sleeping at Democracy Monument, on the outer edge of the rally. The main stage is now at Rajdamnoen Nok near the United Nations headquarters.
Chantawit said police would boost the number of checkpoints near the rally site from 10 to about 20, with 34 more around Bangkok. Rapid response teams would also be added with mobile units working around the clock. These new moves have been applied since Thursday night.
A CAPO spokeswoman, meanwhile, condemned the attack, saying the agency feared it would lead to further violence in the capital. She called on the public to avoid joining rallies, saying it was highly likely there would be more violence.