3,000 police, soldiers deployed to handle red shirt mass rally

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BANGKOK, April 4 – Combined forces of 3,000 police and army personnel are being deployed to provide security as the red shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) is set to hold a mass rally in tomorrow, according to the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO).

CAPO told a media briefing that 19 companies amounting to 3,000 police and soldiers will be deployed in three main areas, including Buddhamonthon Sai 3, Buddhamonthon Sai 4 and Thaweewattana district, as the red shirts will gather on Aksa Road in Nakhon Pathom, west of Bangkok.

The CAPO operations will cover the joint patrol team of police and soldiers, as well as the setup of security checkpoints to scan for suspicious persons, ammunitions, and vehicles.

The CAPO also prepares rapid response units and medical teams on standby.

On the same day, the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), led by Suthep Thaugsuban, will meet with leaders of their movement nationwide in Bangkok to map out the next move to achieve their objective of national reform before a general election.

The CAPO said the number of security personnel now being deployed to monitor the PDRC protest will remain the same.

The centre however urged the leaders of two movements to adhere to peaceful gatherings and avoid any confrontation, while the public were advised to refrain from joining the political demonstrations for their safety.

CAPO added it will not hold a press briefing until Monday, but a “war room” will be set up to closely monitor the situation.

Meanwhile, the UDD spokesman Thanawut Vichaidit said the group is ready for their rally tomorrow, with about 700,000 protesters expected to join to show the power of the  red shirts.

He pledged that the gathering will be peaceful and unarmed. There will be no confrontation, he said, in part because Aksa Road is also very far from the PDRC protest site.