'Please, no more deaths,' says raid victim's mother

'Please, no more deaths,' says raid victim's mother

Suraya and Sakariya Sameang show the last picture taken of their son Kholid, in the pink frame, at their house in Thung Yang Daeng district in Pattani province. (Photo by Abdulloh Benjakat)
Suraya and Sakariya Sameang show the last picture taken of their son Kholid, in the pink frame, at their house in Thung Yang Daeng district in Pattani province. (Photo by Abdulloh Benjakat)

PATTANI — The parents of Kholid Samaeng are still in shock following the death of their son at the hands of security authorities who wrongfully thought he was an insurgent.

“My son was not a militant,’’ Suraya Samaeng, 46, said at her home in Thung Yang Daeng district. ‘’What I hope now is that Kholid is the last victim of the authorities.’’

Kholid and three other men were killed by seven security officers on March 25 when they stormed a house which was under construction at Ban Toh Chud in tambon Pithen in the district following intelligence reports that a group of separatists were assembling there.

Their deaths caused a local public uproar and a panel subsequently set up by Pattani governor Veerapong Kaeusuwan to look into the case concluded on Tuesday that the victims were unarmed when they were shot. The security officers responsible for the operation now face murder charges.

On that day, Kholid went to see a doctor for treatment for back pains. He never returned to his home at Moo 7 in tambon Paku in the district, his mother said.

The 24-year-old man was determined to be a district official after he graduated from Fatani University in Yala, formerly Yala Islamic University.

Kholid wanted to be a police officer but his family disagreed because of worries for his safety, so he decided to switch plans and became a district official instead, his father Sakariya said.

Now all Mr Sakariya and Mrs Saraya have are their memories and pictures of their son, the last one taken on March 19 showing him proudly wearing his white tunic.

The Southern Border Province Administration Centre has compensated them and the families of the three other victims with 500,000 baht each on humanitarian grounds. Mrs Saraya said she would try not to think of the money as the value placed on her late son's life.

SBPAC secretary-general Panu Uthairat on Wednesday commended the investigators who probed the incident after complaints from the family members and villagers to authorities. He hoped that confidence in authorities' efforts to tackle the insurgency was restored.

Col Pramote Prom-in, spokesman for the Internal Security Operations Command’s forward command in the southern border provinces, reiterated Isoc’s position of respecting the findings, even though the investigators had worked under time constraints.

The seven security officials would be given a chance to defend themselves within the judicial process but they would be punished by the law if found guilty, the spokesman said.


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