Police chief has instructed Bangkok police commanders to increasingly prosecute the gangs involved on the basis of illegal association as attacks against police property and personnel appear to be growing and organised.
There are fears for a Thai policeman who was gunned down on Wednesday night by a shot fired from within a flat in the Din Daeng area of Bangkok after doctors at Police General Hospital later performed emergency surgery to remove a bullet from his head. It is understood that the policeman is currently on a ventilator as an intense investigation has begun into the attack which comes as there is rising concern about the nature and orchestration of the ongoing campaign of violent attacks on the police being voiced by the National Police Commissioner General Suwat Jangyodsuk.
A Thai policeman was shot and seriously injured by a bullet to the head on Wednesday night as clashes between Royal Thai Police riot control officers and young people continue in the Din Daeng area of the city.
The incident occurred on Wednesday at 10.43 pm at Din Daeng Flat number 1 on Chaturathit Road and immediately led to police launching a search of flats and buildings in the area.
12 young people detained in a sweep of the flats after last night’s shooting by a Special Operations unit
Initial reports suggest that thirteen people were held for questioning, seven of these were reported to be under 13 years of age while five were under 18.
The remaining person is understood to be a reporter registered with an independent news organisation.
Police had earlier in the evening arrested up to 29 people who were taken to Din Daeng Police Station for questioning.
Police Major General Nitithorn Jintakanon briefed the media on the incident and investigation that has been launched into the attack.
The injured policeman was named as Police Lance Corporal Detwit Ledtenson.
Large cache of weapons seized as police promise to widen the net of their investigation into the attack and ongoing disturbances that are targeting officers
Major General Nitithorn said that as part of last night’s search led by an armed Special Operations task force, they had been able to unearth a large cache of weapons. He promised that the investigation into the attack would widen its net.
On Thursday morning, a large team of police specialists and forensic officers were sent to the scene of the shooting and nearby buildings to collect and analyse further evidence.
The National Police Commissioner General Suwat Jangyodsuk has, since the end of September, expressed serious concern about the nature of the clashes between police and protesters in the Ding Daeng area.
This week alone, the Metropolitan Police Bureau reported that ฿47 million worth of damage had been caused to police spray cannon units used to quell the disturbances.
Escalation in violence against police personnel and property in recent months and since the start of 2021
It comes as there appears to be an organised and concerted effort directed at the police with escalating levels of violence to both personnel and property being brought to bear.
Grenade attack on police in Din Daeng leaves 7 officers wounded as up to 8 youths are arrested in police charge
This is an ongoing pattern being seen since the start of this year but the situation in Din Daeng has seen the wanton destruction of police property and attacks on police personnel themselves escalating.
On Friday last, General Suwat Jangyodsuk was among a raiding party of police as they swooped in to arrest two young men in the Bang Bua Thong area of Nonthaburi province.
Two young men arrested at a homemade bomb-making factory supplying the protesters in Din Daeng
The young men were named as 20-year-old Phaithoon Singjarn and 19-year-old Suksan Kaewyot who appeared to have been running a small bomb-making factory producing ping pong bombs and other materials to be used against police lines during the clashes at Ding Daeng.
At their home, police found a range of homemade explosives and materials, that the young men told the National Police Commissioner himself, had been purchased online.
The materials included sulphur, potassium nitrate, flash powder, gravel and black tape.
Among the items police recovered were fireworks and slingshots as well as stickers denouncing the government and Prime Minister Prayut Chan ocha.
Bombs were delivered to a convenience store and exchange for cash from those attacking police lines
A motorbike and pickup truck were also seized by police as part of the investigation into the men’s activities.
It is understood the bombs were delivered to a certain convenience store near to those involved in the disturbances and paid for in cash.
This police investigation had been instigated after pipe bombs were thrown at riot control officers on September 11th in Din Daeng.
General Suwat has increasingly voiced alarm at the nature of these activities and investigators have begun a probe into the background to the protests to see if there are operators behind the prolonged and dangerous clashes between riot police and the protesters.
Police believe the burning and destruction of six police booths in the early hours of September 23rd last was carried out by a gang of 30 people on motorbikes
In the early hours of the morning of Thursday the 23rd September last, following violent clashes again between police and young people in Din Daeng the night before, a series of six police traffic booths were burned out at locations on the road network nearby at junctions located at Saphan Khwai, Pradiphat, Ratchaprasong, Urupong and Mit Samphan.
The Deputy Chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau Police, Lieutenant General Pakkapong Pongpetra, later revealed that police investigators had concluded that 15 motorbikes and 30 people were involved in the attacks which led to the police commissioner giving orders to commanders to change policing tactics and the approach to these disturbances.
The police chief increasingly believes that the ongoing activity is not spontaneous and is part of a deliberate and ongoing push to create conflict between the police and the public to further the political ends of those behind these clashes.
Police chief believes the ongoing violence against the force in Din Daeng is not spontaneous but part of an organised campaign including on tap legal support
General Suwat has also noted that the groups appear to have coordinated legal defence teams on hand whenever police move in to make arrests and detain suspects.
‘Violent movements are escalating and spreading. These acts are not the work of normal criminals. Since August, over 400 people have been arrested. As the arrests continue, they learn more about legal technicalities,’ General Suwat said at the end of September. ‘They have a legal team ready to defend them around the clock. When someone is arrested, they’ll show up at once. I told interrogators that they should also gather evidence for other criminal offences such as illegal association.’
Injured police officer on a ventilator machine as doctors nervously monitor his neurological responses after acute brain trauma and removal of a bullet
On Thursday, it was reported that Police Lance Corporal Detwit had undergone surgery to remove the bullet from his head but was left unconscious and on a ventilator.
It is understood that a room within the Ding Daeng flats is the focus of police enquiries right now as they intensify the hunt to track down the policeman’s attacker.
The room is located at an intersection near a spot reported to be an alley near a convenience store and a laundry shop where the officer was gunned down.
Police Colonel Ying Sirikul Kritpittayabun, a deputy spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, told reporters on Thursday that the policeman was shot in the left temple area of the head and suffered an acute cerebral haemorrhage.
Doctors are reported to be monitoring his neurological responses as well as his breathing and vitals after the surgery in an intensive care unit at the Police General Hospital.