Dead poacher’s fam­ily de­mand jus­tice


KANCHANABURI: Pro­vin­cial au­thor­i­ties have pledged to en­sure fair treat­ment for the fam­ily of a 19-year-old sus­pected poacher who was al­legedly killed by a for­est pa­trol unit dur­ing a clash last Satur­day.

Gov­er­nor Ji­rakiat Phum­sawat said he has in­structed po­lice to col­lect more ev­i­dence sur­round­ing the death of Te­wan Bam­rungchua and con­duct the probe in an impartial man­ner.

Te­wan was killed and a 35-year-old man ar­rested fol­low­ing a clash with a four-man for­est ranger unit in Ban Huay Sua, the west­ern part of the Thung Yai Nare­suan Wildlife Sanc­tu­ary, in Thong Pha Phum district on Nov 11.

An­other sus­pect man­aged to es­cape and he was iden­ti­fied later as Piya Kultham­patara, 35.

Ac­cord­ing to Phaya Sua Task Force of the Na­tional Parks, Wildlife and Plant Con­ser­va­tion De­part­ment, the ranger unit en­coun­tered the three men who were all armed and fight­ing en­sued.

Seized from the site of the clash were por­cu­pine, civet and wild f rog car­casses. Also found were two home-made ri­fles and some sur­vival gear. The vic­tim’s body was sent for au­topsy at Ratch­aburi Re­gional Hos­pi­tal.

Fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent, the vic­tim’s fam­ily and 200 vil­lagers ral­lied out­side the Thong Pha Phum district of­fice, ac­cus­ing the ranger unit of over­re­act­ing and de­mand­ing jus­tice.

A pe­ti­tion was lodged with Mr Ji­rakiat who held a meet­ing with the vic­tim’s fam­ily and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, in­clud­ing Wichian Chin­na­wong, chief of the west­ern part of Thung Yai Nare­suan Wildlife Sanc­tu­ary.

“If the find­ings sug­gest that the of­fi­cials are at fault, they will have to take re­spon­si­bil­ity and com­pen­sate the vic­tim’s fam­ily,” he said.

Thongchan Bam­rungchua, 43, the vic­tim’s mother, has ac­cused the ranger unit of over­re­act­ing.

“Why did they have to shoot him? Why did they kill him? They could have just ar­rested him,” she said.

Som­bat Barun­sri, the vic­tim’s un­cle, also called on au­thor­i­ties to make sure the wit­nesses, Mr Piya in par­tic­u­lar, would not be in­tim­i­dated.

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