Bangkok, Sept 2 : Following serious clashes between protesters of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship of Thailand (UDDT) Thailand Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej today imposed a state of emergency in Bangkok till November 30. It was invoked under the Executive Decree for National Administration under an Emergency Situation.
The clashes had left at least one person killed and about 40 injured, reported the bangkokpost.com.
Under the prime minister's order, the country's Army Chief Gen Anupong Paojinda, in his capacity as deputy director of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), has been appointed chairman of a committee for enforcement of the state of emergency and First Army commander Prayuth Chan-ocha and Police Chief Gen Patcharawat Wongsuwan his deputies.
The prime minister also issued another order prohibiting assembly of more than five people, publication of news which may cause panic or distort facts affecting law and order, and use of buildings or vehicles as specified by the army chief. People are subject to be moved out of certain areas as ordered by the army chief.
Several hundreds of UDDT members moved from Sanam Luang and broke through a police cordon to the intersection at the former army academy. At the time, PAD co-leader Somsak Kosaisuk called at the PAD stage for additional volunteer guards to put up resistance.
The clash between PAD and UDDT members took place 15 minutes after that. The two sides threw water bottles, soda bottles and rocks and used wooden sticks to hit each other in a melee. During the clash, five or six gun shots were heard. Two UDDT members were seriously wounded and rushed to Vajira hospital. No police were seen at the scene during the clash.
After the clash, Sondhi Limthongkul, a PAD leader, went up the stage and said the UDDT had attacked the PAD, causing a large number of wounded. He called for people around Bangkok including Chon Buri and Nakhon Pathom to come for PAD's help. Mr Sondhi declared a civil war had started and that the protesters must be prepared to fight with everything they had in hands.
At 2am, Pol Gen Patcharawat, the national police chief, and his deputy Pol Gen Jongrak Juthanont, who is acting for the metropolitan police chief, and Metropolitan Police deputy chief Maj-Gen Suchart Muankaew arrived at the scene.
About 500 policemen, each holding only a plastic shield, were then deployed to separate the two sides. Later, at 3am, Pol Maj-Gen Suchart said altogether 22 companies of police had been deployed all over the area to prevent another clash. The police were later reinforced by four companies of anti-riot soldiers from the First Army.