POLICE are concerned that disagreements between the two groups will now flare up while debunking fake news that live ammunition will be used against protesters, INNnews.co.th and Sanook.com reported today (Oct. 21).
Pol. Maj. Gen. Piya Tawichai, deputy head of the Metropolitan Police, along with Pol. Col. Siriwat Deephor, deputy spokesman of the Royal Thai Police, told the Press that police had mapped out strategies to cope with disagreements between the two groups getting out of hand.
The head of each district has been assigned to take full control of his area of jurisdiction and can immediately request for support from Metropolitan Police headquarters.
Regarding protest leaders getting ready to announce a surprise at noon today, the two senior police officers said their forces are fully ready to handle the situation every day and a supplementary unit can be called in to control the situation if need be.
Pol. Col. Siriwat dismissed as fake news that the authorities will be using live ammunition against the protesters and confirmed that there is no order to do so.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Piya revealed that one person, Mrs. Yasipasmanee Rueangsirisakul, was arrested during a rally at The Mall Bang Khae on October 19, with a few others also facing arrest based on photographs at this rally.
Since the start of the current wave of protests on October 13 the police have arrested 77 protest leaders and their followers, with 22 rounded up for criminal offenses, 54 for violating the Emergency Decree and one person for not obeying an official order.
Meanwhile Ms. Kannanat Phathornsuebnukul, spokesperson of the joint Centre for the Resolution of Emergency Situation (CRES), said demonstrations took place at Central Pinklao and The Mall Bang Khae area of Bangkok yesterday but there was no violence.
Yesterday also saw protests being held 22 points nationwide and it has now been found that groups with differing opinions are beginning to express them but in most cases this was done in an orderly manner.
Top: Senior police officers addressing the Press conference today. Thai headline says, “not using live bullets.” Photo: Sanook.com