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PDRC tightens security after fatal shooting

THE PEOPLE'S Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) is refining its security system again after Jirayuth Senanarong, one of its guards, was shot dead.

All security guards now have regulations to follow, and even if one guard in the team violates a single regulation, all members of that team will be sent home, chief guard Poom Thaugsuban, who is protest leader Suthep's nephew, said. Earlier, only violators were dismissed.

From now on, each and every guard will have to follow the rules and all 2,400 of the PDRC guards will be retrained at the group's Lumpini Park base camp.

Poom refused to comment on speculation that Jirayuth, 40, was shot by a fellow PDRC guard, saying everyone should wait for results of the police investigation rather than assuming that the killing resulted from infighting.

There are many people from different backgrounds at the Lumpini Park rally site, so it is not unusual for fights to break out, he said, pointing out that these conflicts were between individuals, not guards.

After PDRC brought its six rallies together at Lumpini Park last month, the base camp has been divided into six villages corresponding to the six stages - Lat Phrao, Victory Monument, Pathumwan, Lumpini Park, Asoke and Ratchaprasong.

Guards stay at their villages and search the bags of people entering their area.

There is a clear separation between the PDRC protest site at Lumpini Park and the street market outside Chulalongkorn Hospital in order to make it easier to protect protesters. No vendors are allowed to hawk their wares at the protest site.

The guards who previously watched over the Ratchaprasong stage are now responsible for the main stage in the park.

The guards are also split into seven groups - intelligence, patrol, rapid response, coordination with government offices, radio monitoring, inspection and overseeing welfare of the guards.

This division of labour has proved to be a strong point because it also protects the protesters and guards.

"During the month that PDRC has been at Lumpini Park, we have found two to three bombs planted in boxes on the road in front of the rally site," he added.


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