CHERNG TALAY, PHUKET: A member of the mob protesting alleged police inaction in the murder of a 12-year-old boy by an Internet cafe owner spoke with the Gazette late yesterday afternoon about why the group continued to block a stretch of Srisoonthorn Road through the night – even after the victim’s family had disbanded after meeting with the governor.
Identifying himself not as a leader of the the mob, but as a “big brother” who had their respect, the man said the protest is their way of venting pent-up anger against the Cherng Talay Police for failing to solve any in a string of five recent murders in the Bang Tao area.
One of the victims, killed in a hail of machine gun fire, was his nephew.
Police failed to inform him of any progress into the investigation, he claimed.
The group was particularly incensed by the alleged police reaction to a child who called from the internet café after 12-year-old Amornthep “Gaga” Panya-sirikul was shot in the head on Wednesday afternoon.
They allege the youth asked for assistance – only to be hung up on by police who didn’t believe him.
The man went on to say that he felt sorry for the public inconvenience caused, but that the group could think of no other way to force the police to work faster.
“We don’t want to make any more trouble for our country, which is already suffering enough from mob action, but what else can we do? Many times we cry out for help and all they do is ‘transfer’ the officer in charge. Then what? The transferred man goes to work somewhere else, but the problems here remain the same.
“The police just hope that people will forget about it [the crimes] someday, so they can get away with it [their inaction]. I just want to ask tourists and other people out there what they would do if they were in our shoes… if something like this happened to someone in their family. We have had enough of it,” he said.
A promise by Gov Wichai yesterday to seek his own transfer out of the province if the alleged shooter of the boy is not apprehended was not enough, he said.
“Think about it. If he is transferred he’ll just go and be governor somewhere else. What difference will it make?” he said.
“Why didn’t they do something immediately after the phone call? Can you tell me what kind of car can outrace police radio signals? Even if the kid had been lying, they could still have responded in a positive way, perhaps using it as an excuse to get out of the office and get some exercise… What would that cost them? All of their expenses are covered: the car, the gasoline. They should work for us, as we pay for all their costs [with our taxes],” he said.
Meanwhile, the boys mother, also incensed with the police response in the case, has told the Gazette that if the police cannot arrest the suspect within five days, she will lead a procession carrying her son’s coffin to the Cherng Talay Police. “We will protest until every member of the force has been transferred,” she said. More details of that story here.
— Tipwarintron Tanaakarachod
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