Religious ceremony held for Tak Bai victims

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NARATHIWAT, Oct 24 – The Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) on Wednesday held a religious ceremony to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the Tak Bai incident in Narathiwat on 2004 in which at least 85 people were killed.

SBPAC Secretary General Pol Col Tawee Sodsong chaired the ceremony which was held at the office of the Narathiwat Provincial Islamic committee.

The event was also attended by the Narathiwat provincial Islamic Committee chairman Safi-e Jeloh.

The SBPAC handed out scholarships to 53 students who had become orphans as a result of the incident.

Col Tawee said that the government provided compensation to three groups of people who were affected by the case.

The first group was 84 victims who died and whose families received an initial Bt3.5 million each.

The second group was those who were prosecuted and the Court later dismissed the cases involving almost 1,300 people, he said, adding that the government has followed up to extend the assistance.

The last group was those who were left disabled from the incident and this compensation process is under way.

The Tak Bai violence occurred on Oct 25, 2004 when hundreds of people were arrested while protesting against the arrest of six local men. The arrested protesters were handcuffed and piled into trucks heading for an army camp in nearby Pattani province. At least 78 of them were found to have suffocated upon the vehicles’ arrival to the camp.