Shots fired, grenade hung at 'Post Today' editor's home
Several shots were fired Saturday at the Nonthaburi housing compound of Post Today editor Pattara Khampitak.
- Published: 18/08/2013 at 12:19 AM
- Newspaper section: topstories
Bullet holes in the family vehicle and a grenade hanging off the gate are clear threats to the Post Today newspaper editor, although just exactly who did it and why remain uncertain. (Photos by Pattarachai Prechapanich)
The attack was believed to have been an attempt to intimidate Mr Pattara, who shares the compound with his family.
The attack was immediately condemned by the Thai Journalists Association (TJA) and Post Publishing Plc, which demanded a full police investigation.
Police were alerted to the attack by Mr Pattara's brother-in-law, Sarawut Poolkerd, who was woken in the early hours by loud noises and found his sedan damaged by bullets. A grenade was also found hanging on the compound's front gate.
Police found that bullets had passed through the stainless steel gate and shattered the windshield of the parked car.
Bomb disposal officers examined the grenade and found that it contained no explosive substance. They believed it had been placed on the gate as a threat.
Mr Pattara's house is next door to Mr Sarawut's house in Muang district's tambon Tha Sai.
Nonthaburi police deputy chief Pol Col Surapong Thanomchit said the attack took place sometime between 3am and 5am. He said it was probably intended to intimidate rather than to cause harm.
Mr Sarawut, an engineer, said Saturday he has no conflicts with anyone.
There are three houses inside the compound — his, Mr Pattara's and one other belonging to a relative.
Pol Col Surapong said investigators questioned Mr Pattara, who believed the gun attack was meant to intimidate him because of his criticism of the government and other political groups.
He said he and his family members have no personal conflicts.
Mr Pattara is editor of Post Today and host of the Post Today Radio Talk programme. Post Today is the Thai-language sister newspaper of the Bangkok Post.
He said police have provided security for him following the attack.
Post Publishing editor-in-chief Pichai Chuensuksawadi said the incident was clearly an act of intimidation and an attack on press freedom.
"Post Publishing condemns such actions unequivocally. Post management has already held informal discussions on boosting security for its staff, especially its journalists, and will discuss this issue further on Monday," he said.
The TJA issued a formal statement condemning those behind the gun attack and fake bomb threat.
Thailand is a civilised country with a constitution that places emphasis on freedom of speech for the sake of the country's development, it said.
Freedom of the presswas highly valued in the constitution and should be cherished by the people living in the country, the TJA said.
"Mr Pattara has greatly contributed to the efforts to ensure that the truth is reported to the public, so any form of threats made against him should be deemed a threat to the entire nation and the freedom of all Thais," it added.
The TJA said it did not want to see further threats against journalists.
About the author
- Writer: Wassayos Ngamkham