The Royal Thai Army (RTA) punished five non-commissioned officers and their commanders after residents living near the premises in Bangkok complained about a gunfight and loud party at night.
Locals living near an army premise in the Chaeng Watthana district of Bangkok have recently released a video of soldiers engaging in violent behaviour. The caption said…
“The gunfight on February 20. The army officers battle each other on the premises. They were believed to be drunk and had a row with each other. The relevant departments should investigate this case as soon as possible. Locals were scared.”
The video, which is approximately two minutes long, shows one of the soldiers holding a gun and firing into the sky while shouting at another party. One of them shouted in the video…
“Where are you?! Get out! Shooting at us for what? I have a gun too!”
After the video went viral, netizens heavily criticized the RTA, stating that soldiers are expected to protect people, not scare them. Many individuals pointed out that the premise is located in a crowded area filled with houses and condominiums.
In response to the criticism, the Spokesperson of the RTA, Sirichan Nga-thong, made an official announcement to clarify the issue. Sirichan admitted that the five non-commissioned army officers had a conflict with each other on February 20, as revealed in the viral video.
Sirichan explained that officers from two departments who lived near each other had a disagreement over loud music. She insisted that the officers fired their weapons only to threaten the other party and did not intend to hurt or kill anyone.
Their actions were considered to violate RTA’s rule by failing to follow commanders’ orders, behaving inappropriately under the influence of intoxicants, and using guns in government offices.
As punishment, four non-commissioned officers from the first party were grounded on the premise for 30 to 45 days, and their annual remuneration will be cancelled. Their commanders will also face detention for 10 to 30 days. One non-commissioned officer from another party was grounded for 30 days and had their annual remuneration cut off.
Sirichan stressed that the RTA took swift action to punish the involved officers and apologised to the residents living near the premise for the disturbance.
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