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.