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Phuket police transferred amid extrajudicial killing probe

PHUKET: Nine officers have been ordered to transfer out of the province within the next 24 hours, pending an investigation into the shooting dead a man who ran a checkpoint in Cherng Talay early Tuesday morning.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Saturday 22 September 2018, 06:08PM

The relatives today accused police of excessive force what they called the extrajudicial killing of Chitnupong Kherjan from Karon on Tuesday. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

The relatives today accused police of excessive force what they called the extrajudicial killing of Chitnupong Kherjan from Karon on Tuesday. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

The move comes after relatives angered by shooting paraded his coffin today (Sept 22) in protest of the killing.

The man, Chitnupong Kherjan from Karon, was shot dead in his pickup truck near the Tonhorm Restaurant on Srisoonthon Rd in Cherng Talay at around 1:30am.

Police reported that firearms and ammunition were found in Chitnupong’s car, and that they opened fire only after he raised his gun at them. (See story here.)

At around 1:30pm, Chitnupong’s father, Arun Kherjan, along with more than 50 relatives led a procession of vehicles led by a truck carrying the coffin of his son from Wat Kettho in Kathu, where the funeral is being held, to Phuket Provincial Hall.

The relatives called for Phuket Governor Nopparat Plodthong to “deliver justice” for the shooting, which they said was “use of excessive force” by the police.

Some of the angry residents today carried signs that read: "Police kill".

“We are protesting my son’s death because this killing by police is extraordinary. I do not understand why police did it,” Mr Arun said.

Governor Nopparat assured the incident will be investigated fairly and suggested that the relatives give all relevant information to the Phuket Damrongtham Centre (the provincial office of the Ombudsman’s Office) to assist them in their investigation into the shooting.

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Teerapol Thipjaroen admitted, “The police (involved in the shooting) were not calm. There were nine officers involved in the incident. They will be ordered to move out of the area within 24 hours (and remain there) while the investigation is conducted.

“The prosecutors and the police who will conduct the investigation have been given the evidence. I assure all parties that the investigation will be fair,” he said.

“If the investigation shows that police were wrong in their actions, they will face action for what they did,” Gen Teeraphol said.

However, The Phuket News was informed that Chitnupong was previously wanted on three arrest warrants – two issued in Phuket and one issued in Trang – of which one had been cancelled, and that before those arrest warrants were issued, Chitnupong was involved in five other criminal cases.

After the protest today was diffused, the relatives took Chitnupong’s body to Kathu temple and said they would wait for the results of an independent medical examination and the investigation before holding the funeral services.



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Tinkerbell | 24 September 2018 - 18:55:30

Excessive force or not is for the law to decide. But why these people are proudly claiming to be involved with this low life, parading with the picture and the body of a man who drove around with guns, mowed down three motorbikes and tried to shoot the police, is beyond me. 

SueYu2 | 24 September 2018 - 00:22:13

If its true that the driver did have a gun with him (there should be witnesses with the time of day & number of police involved) then he must have been planning to use it. So anyone could have been a potential victim. In my opinion he deserved to die. No sympathy.

Fascinated | 23 September 2018 - 13:57:14

Live by the sword, die by the sword. Son nam na.

Timothy | 23 September 2018 - 13:00:23

And the "victim" sounds like such a pillar of the community. Running through checkpoints. Guns in the vehicle. Multiple criminal charges. Very sad to lose such an upstanding member of society. I say, som nom na...He wanted to live like a gangster. He died like a gangster. 

Kurt | 22 September 2018 - 19:00:49

Bit by bit this drama will unfold. The very first press statement of the police was already strange. Knowing about the Thalang inhabitants  ( think about the police station siege some years ago, culprits never arrested/trailed) It look like these 9 (!) police officers for their own sake should never return to Phuket.

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