The Nation


Stadium Clash

Mountain of evidence found at stadium : police claim

Anti-government group alleges that arrested protesters were mistreated

A FORENSIC team and an explosive-ordnance disposal unit were dispatched yesterday to collect evidence after clashes between anti-government protesters and police outside Gate 1 of the Thai-Japan Stadium on Thursday.

Police said a large amount of evidence had been discovered in front of the stadium, including several bullets of unknown size, residue from a home-made bomb, metal screws, and a large number of glass marbles. In addition, two police trucks and a police van were found to have been damaged.

Inspection of the site was carried out while crowd-control police were guarding the venue. Metropolitan Police Bureau spokesman Maj Gen Adul Narongsak said police would collect the evidence and prepare arrest warrants against suspects involved in the clashes - both at the stadium and on Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road.

At a press conference yesterday, Adul said 34 police officers had been injured during clashes with protesters at the stadium, with one officer shot dead. A taxi driver was also severely injured by protesters as they closed Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road, he said.

Adul said police had also arrested and charged 14 protesters who stormed into the stadium, a government building, and also destroyed public property. Their cases had been filed at Din Daeng Police Station. They were released on bail early yesterday.

Adul said it was the protesters who were to blame for instigating violence - using weapons such as slingshots and firecrackers, as well as projectiles thrown at the police.

He said that at 9.15am on Thursday two male protesters had climbed a building and sprayed live rounds down on police officers below, killing Pol Senior Sgt-Major Narong Pitisit, a traffic policeman from Bangkok's Talat Phlu Police Station.

The protesters could therefore not be deemed to have rallied peacefully, Adul said. However, at the press conference, Adul failed to mention anything about those protesters injured or killed in the clashes.

The Students and People's Network for Thailand's Reform, a faction of the People's Democratic Reform Committee, yesterday summoned the arrested protesters for interrogation at Democracy Monument. Three of them have been admitted to hospital.

PDRC spokesman Akanat Promphan said photos of the building where the "men in black" were allegedly located matched those of the Labour Ministry near the stadium. He questioned whether they were wearing police uniforms and how they could have climbed up on to the top of the building, as no protesters were rallying in the area at that time.

At the stadium yesterday, members of the 40 Senators group inspected the site of the clashes and the candidacy registration. They were booed by police officers guarding the venue.

In a separate development, the taxi driver, Petch Chusrikwan, said yesterday from Phramongkutklao Hospital where he was recovering that he had complained to protesters he could not make a living while they were blocking the road.

He then threw a bottle of red liquid on to the road, which prompted protesters to assault him.

Suwanee - the 16-year-old daughter of the taxi driver - filed a complaint with police.

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