Police chief confident situation under control on Tak Bai anniversary

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NARATHIWAT, Oct 22 – The national police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew said he is not worried about possible violence on the eve of the 5th anniversary of the Tak Bai incident this Thursday, saying officials can handle the situation.

The police chief made his remarks as he visited Narathiwat’s Tak Bai district on Monday following a series of attacks which occurred in five spots of Tak Bai district over the weekend.

Gen Adul said the incidents were believed to be linked to the Runda Kumpalan Kecil (RKK) insurgent group.

He said authorities have a long-term plan to tackle the issue and that he is confident that officials will be able to handle the situation on October 25, which marks the 5th anniversary of the Tak Bai incident.

The Tak Bai incident occurred as hundreds of people were arrested in 2004 while protesting the arrest of six local men, and at least 85 of them were found to have suffocated to death when they were handcuffed and piled into trucks heading for an army camp in nearby Pattani province.

The Tak Bai anniversary this year also coincides with the Hari Raya celebration that marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Meanwhile, government spokesperson Sansanee Nakpong said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has assigned Deputy Prime Minister Gen Yuthasak Sasiprapa to visit the three southern border provinces on Tuesday.

Ms Sansanee said the deputy premier has been tasked with following up the situation of southern unrest and to give moral support for officials who work there protecting the people’s lives and properties.