Most anti-government protesters in police custody released

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BANGKOK, Nov  25 –  Most Pitak Siam protesters have been released from custody after 138 of them were detained in violation of the Internal Security Act during Saturday’s rally.

Only two protesters remain in the police custody at the Border Patrol Police Division, Region 1 in Pathum Thani, adjacent to the capital, while 136 were released.

The detention came after a clash between a group of protesters and the police as the protesters were trying to break to a concrete barricade and the police decided to use tear gas to control the crowd.

The total number of those injured was 68, including seven police officers in the skirmish during the Saturday’s rally, said Dr Phetchphong Kamthornkitjakarn from the Erawan Emergency Centre.

Most of them felt burning irritation in the eyes and face caused by tear gas as well as sustaining head injuries.

National police chief Adul Saengsingkaew, as director of the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order concluded the situation via Thailand Television Pool after anti-government Pitak Siam group leader Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit called off the rally at the Royal Plaza around 5 pm yesterday.

The national police chief said the police had implemented international practices in handling the situation.

Tear gas was used as a group of protesters were trying to break through a concrete barrier erected on a road leading to the rally center at the Royal Plaza.

The barrier was set up to control access to a restricted area under the invocation of the Internal Security Act (ISA) while two other roads leading to the Royal Plaza were open to protesters.

Pol Gen Adul thanked the protest leader’s announcement to end the protest after around 50,000 protesters joined the rally, falling far short of the targeted attendance of one million protesters.

Gen Boonlert also said he decided to call off the rally in order to save protesters’ lives.