PATHUM THANI: Protest leader Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul and another rally leader were arrested at a hotel room near Government House and taken to Border Patrol Police Region 1 headquarters on Thursday morning
Ms Panusaya, a Thammasat University student, and Nathchanon Pairoj were taken away in a police vehicle around 9.40am.
They were taken into custody by plainclothes police, armed with an arrest warrant, who raided a hotel room near the rally venue about 8.30am.
The Thai Lawyers for Human Rights posted a photo showing Ms Panusaya lying on the floor on @TLHR2014 twitter with the message, “After Rung is caught by plainclothes police, armed with an arrest warrant, during a raid on a hotel room near the rally venue around 8.30am, she refuses to let the officers take her by lying on the floor before the police carry her to Khlong Luang police station #Mob Oct 14’’
Thai media reported Ms Panusaya tore up the arrest warrant.
Facebook user Ball Chanin Wongsri streamed the arrests live on Facebook.
She and Mr Nathchanon refused to cooperate. Police carried them to wheelchairs and then wheeled them to a vehicle, which took them to Border Patrol Police Region 1 headquarters.
Video posted on social media showed Ms Panusaya in a wheelchair.
Earlier on Thursday morning the government declared a state of emergency and 20 demonstrators, including rally leaders Arnon Numpha, Parit Chiwarak and Prasit Krutharote, were arrested on charges of violating the emergency decree and organising the demonstration outside Government House.
Pongsathorn Sornphetnarin, coordinator of the Progressive Movement, went to the Border Patrol Police Region 1 office on Thursday morning to see the detained demonstrators, but was refused entry.
Mr Pongsathorn said he went to see how many protesters were detained, so bail applications could be prepared for them.
About 9.20am, nine police buses, two trucks, an ambulance and two forensic police vehicles arrived at the BPP Region 1 offices. Riot police from 14 police stations in Pathum Thani were deployed around the building.
Pita Limjaroenrat, leader of the opposition Move Forward Party, white shirt, Pol Col Thawee Sodsong, secretary-general of the Prachachat Party, and Somkhid Chuekhong, a Pheu Thai MP for Ubon Ratchathani province, arrive at the Border Patrol Police Region 1 to visit demonstrators being detained. (Photo: Pongpat Wongyala)
Pita Limjaroenrat, leader of the opposition Move Forward Party, Pol Col Thawee Sodsong, secretary-general of the Prachachat Party, and Somkhid Chuekhong, a Pheu Thai MP for Ubon Ratchathani province, arrived at Border Patrol Police Region 1 at 11.30am to meet demonstrators detained there.
Before going inside, Mr Pita said he and fellow MPs wanted to ascertain how many were held there, check on their well-being and whether they had lawyers.
It was not clear what charges police were pressing against them, he said. Rally leaders had tried their best to ensure the rally was peaceful and righteous. Instigators caused the situation to escalate, he said.
Move Forward MPs would help them apply for bail, using their positions as MPs to stand surety.
The entrance to Border Patrol Police Region 1 headquartrs in Pathum Thani on Thursday morning. (Photo: Pongpat Wongyala)
Police raid a hotel room and arrest pro-democracy demonstration leaders Panusaya "Rung'' Sithijirawattanakul and Nathchanon Pairoj on Thursday morning.(Facebook user Ball Chanin Wongsri streams live on his Facebook)