Chatri Mardsatul and Chana Chowna filed their complaint at Chalong Police Station yesterday afternoon (Mar 1), alleging that Rawai sea gypsies had trespassed on their land and prevented workers from building a wall at the disputed site.
They presented as evidence photos of villagers sitting on bricks and preventing the workers from working.
“Workers brought bricks to the site to build a wall in the area that the company owns, but villagers were upset and stopped the men from working,” Mr Chana said.
“At least 10 villagers were involved in disrupting the work progress of the company and the company wants the police to press charges against them,” he added.
Mr Chana also pointed out that Baron World Trade Co Ltd about a week ago had also posted a sign that identified the numbers of the four Chanote title deeds used to claim the land and plainly warned, “Absolutely no trespassing. Failure to comply will result in legal action.”
More than 200 villagers gathered near the sea gypsies’ Balai shrine yesterday morning after 10 workers arrived with bricks and cement.
The workers attempted to mark out where the wall was to be built, but villagers prevented them from doing so and the workers refuse to leave.
Chalong police and defense volunteers were called to the scene as many were afraid that the confrontation would escalate into violence.
Officers from the Chalong Police were presented from 8am, with Chalong Police Chief Nopadon Thiraprawat yesterday pointing out that in total at least 60 law-enforcement officials were at the site to prevent any outbreaks of violence. (See story here.)
By 2pm, more than 30 officials were on site and the company agreed to temporarily stop any attempt of developing the area, but still villagers refused to disperse.
“The developer wanted to build a wall and block off the walkway to our Balai shrine, but we won’t allow that to happen,” said sea gypsy Sanit Shairshoa.
“The Phuket Governor asked them to allow us to walk through this area to the Balai shrine and they did temporarily let us walk through, but now they want to build a wall to stop us.
“We will stay here and will not allow the company to build a wall and block us off from our place of worship,” he said.