10 year old girl shot dead over land concession conflict in Krabi

Photo via Matichon and Facebook/ นายเรียง สีแก้ว

Police are searching for the gunman who shot dead a 10 year old girl on a palm plantation in the southern province of Krabi. The girl’s family believes the shooting was motivated by a dispute over land concessions.

The fatal shooting took place in a palm plantation in the Khao Panom district of Krabi at about 8pm on Wednesday, April 17. The deceased, 10 year old Neeranuch “Mai” Narkwong, was shot in the back of her neck and died upon arrival at the hospital.

Mai’s aunt told ThaiRath that five children, including Mai, were playing together outside a hut on the palm plantation when the incident occurred. The aunt said she heard several gunshots and saw Mai collapse. She rushed to carry Mai while other children crouched on the ground in fear.

According to the aunt, the gunman committed the crime alone and fled the scene on foot, as she did not hear the sound of a motorcycle or car engine. She was unable to determine the direction in which the perpetrator had gone.

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The aunt further explained that Mai and her parents had moved into the hut six to seven months prior. The land on which they resided belonged to the Royal Forest Department, and Mai’s family held a concession to operate a palm plantation.

As the concession was nearing expiration, Mai’s family faced the prospect of losing their livelihood. Consequently, they remained on the plantation, hoping to appeal to officials to renew their concession.

Mai’s family was not the sole local community in need of the land. Others also sought the concession, leading Mai’s family to believe that this could have been the motive behind the shooting.

Khao Panom Police Station officers investigated the shooting scene and found nine bullet holes on a cottage wall.
Police estimated that the gunman was approximately 10 to 15 metres away from the cottage when firing the shots. However, they had not yet uncovered any substantial evidence to ascertain the identity of the gunman.

Officers surmised that the perpetrator did not have lethal intentions and merely sought to intimidate Mai’s family. Police announced their intention to summon Mai’s parents and relatives for questioning at a later time.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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