The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has decided to stop the search for Phra Dhammachayo after its officers accompanied by police, local and security officials were met with a human wall of faithful followers who refused them entry to the inner sanctum of Wat Dhammakaya where the embattled abbot was believed to have taken refuge.
All the officials, numbering about 20, pulled out of the temple on Thursday afternoon.
Phra Sanitwong Wutthiwangso, director of the communications office of Wat Dhammakaya, claimed that the temple was cooperative with the DSI by allowing the officials to enter the temple’s compound.
However, he said that several followers who were forming a human shield inside Gate 5 refused to let the officials in to conduct the search. He added that he had tried unsuccessfully to convince to change their mind and he had to accept their judgement because they were with the temple before him.
At about 1.30 pm Pol Maj Suriya Singhakamon, deputy director-general of the DSI, held a press conference in front of Gate 7 in the presence of Phra Sanitwong and representatives of the National Buddhism Office.
Pol Maj Suriya told the media that the DSI had tried to perform its duty in a peaceful manner “without carrying arms, without armored cars and without resorting to violence”.
He said that the DSI had received only partial cooperation and managed to enter the temple’s ground until arriving at Gate 5 where its officials met with resistance from followers who denied them further entry.
However, he added that officials had taken pictures of those who obstructed the officials in their attempt to make the search and would deal with them later on.
The DSI deputy chief said that the media had witnessed the happenings today and should be fully aware of the truth. He also dismissed the temple’s claim that it was fully cooperative with the DSI in the search of the temple. “But the truth does not match with the words,” he noted.