THE Metropolitan Police Bureau has fully prepared to handle protests by two rival groups in Bangkok today (August 7) but if the situation turns violent the crowd control strategy will be stepped up with a request already made to the army to move in and help if need be, INN News and Sanook.com said this afternoon.
However Pol. Lt. Gen. Phukphong Phongpetra, Metropolitan Police Bureau chief, mentioned that live rounds will not be used.
He reminded the various protest groups gathering today at Democracy Monument, among them the Free Youth group, Vocational Group for Protection of People and Democracy and Red Progressive Group 63, that Bangkok is a highly restricted area and gatherings are strictly prohibited with those doing so violating the emergency decree and the Communicable Disease Control Act.
He urged people to avoid the protest zone because ill-intentioned people might trigger violence.
Meanwhile a pro-monarchy group is gathering at Kanchanapisek road and moving to various important places.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Phukphong said no matter what the purpose it is wrong to rally in the current situation and urged all groups not to do so.
He added that police will act as necessary and if the demonstrators use violence then police would have to step up their defence from light to heavy but live ammunition will not be used.
He also admitted that the Metropolitan Police had sent a letter to the army to help with this operation because under the emergency decree they have the legal right to do so.
Meanwhile protest leader Mr. Parit Chivarak, or Penguin, posted a message on his Facebook page last night that police had surrounded his house and showed no sign of leaving making it impossible for him to join today’s demonstration.
Police have placed containers and rolled out barbed wire to control today’s demonstrations. Photos: INN News