Prayut on trigger-happy students: 'Enough'

Prayut on trigger-happy students: 'Enough'

Arrest warrants out for 2 leaders after outcry over 'celebratory' gunfire on vocational school campus

Some former and current students fire pistols into the air at the Uthenthawai campus of Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-ok on Wedesday. (Photo: Archiwha News)
Some former and current students fire pistols into the air at the Uthenthawai campus of Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-ok on Wedesday. (Photo: Archiwha News)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is demanding that all hands from Uthenthawai vocational school and officials put an end to problems after the latest controversy involving students firing guns into the air on campus.

“For all alumni and students, I think it’s enough,” the prime minister said at Government House on Friday.

Gen Prayut was commenting on an incident in which 54 former and current students fired pistols into the air on Wednesday at their school — the Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-ok, Uthenthawai Campus. Teachers, students and alumni had gathered at the school on that day to celebrate its 88th anniversary.

The firing stirred a public outcry after a video was posted on social media.

The prime minister said executives of Uthenthawai, all students at the campus and other agencies must bring an end to a longstanding problem. The incident undermines attempts to change the image of vocational students as brawlers when they should be a driving force to help build the country, he said.

“What they did was to damage the country, society and law and order,” Gen Prayut said.

A police search at the campus on Wednesday found small arms plus knives and some handgun ammunition.

Arrest warrants have been issued for one student and one alumnus who were seen standing in the front row to lead the shooting, Pathumwan police station deputy chief Pol Lt Col Daenchai Toolaung said on Friday.

More people could be summoned after evidence emerged from interrogations of teachers and other witnesses, said Pol Maj Gen Jirasant Kaewsaeng-ek, spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Bureau.

The university issued a statement apologising to the public for the incident committed by “ill-intended persons”.

Firing guns into the air “was beyond the supervision of teachers and duty officials responsible for holding the activities”, it said, referring to the anniversary event.


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