The content in this page ("Leaked reports tie soldiers to two shooting" by Pravit Rojanaphruk, The Nation) is not produced by Prachatai staff. Prachatai merely provides a platform, and the opinions stated here do not necessarily reflect those of Prachatai.

Leaked reports tie soldiers to two shooting

Two of the 10 leaked reports purported to have come from the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and recently obtained by The Nation reveal how live bullets were "likely used" on both a bystander and a red shirt, with investigators concluding both cases were likely the work of soldiers acting on orders.

In the case of Dusit Zoo keeper Mana Ajran, who was shot dead on the night of April 10 just outside the zoo, the leaked investigation document concluded that it was "likely" the work of one of the soldiers who "panicked", according to witnesses, after a dark-coloured pickup truck passed them and did a U-turn and was construed as an imminent threat.

Mana, who had just finished his work looking after the turtle pond inside the zoo, happened to be leaving the zoo's gate facing Parliament at around 11-11.30pm that night when the truck passed by. The soldiers panicked and shouted "here they come". Soldiers rushed into the zoo, then many shots were fired for several minutes only to later discover that Mana lay in a pool of blood with a high-velocity bullet piercing the back of his head.

Witness No 1, an employee at the zoo whose name is being withheld by The Nation, stated that he ran and cried out for help after he learnt that Mana was shot, only to be shouted back by a group of soldiers. "Do you want to die? Get back."

The report added that the area was occupied only by soldiers at the time and the bullet wound fits the statements by witnesses, while other witnesses who are soldiers admitted to carrying M16 rifles and other weapons. Thus the death of Mana is "believed to likely have been caused by a soldier claiming to be acting on duty".

In another case, which took place on May 13, a male red-shirt taxi driver by the name of Chartchai Salao was shot dead at around 10.50pm while using his video camera to take footage of a soldiers' barricade.

The barricade was on Rama IV Road about 100 metres away from the U Chu Liang Building. The report stated that since there were moving pictures of Chartchai being recorded when the incident took place and the bullet, according to the investigation, came from the direction of Rama IV Road. Witnesses, who are soldiers, confirmed that the area was under Army control, hence the death is "believed" to have been caused by a soldier acting on duty.

Chartchai was shot in the head. The traces of blood on the crime scene also suggested that the bullet came from Rama IV Road.

"Witnesses who are soldiers stated that troops were well-fortified at the barricade [on Rama IV Road] area and armed and that there was nobody