Weapons, bomb materials seized from feuding universities

Weapons, bomb materials seized from feuding universities

Police show weapons seized from the Uthenthawai campus of Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-ok on Phyathai Road and the Pathumwan Institute of Technology in the same district. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
Police show weapons seized from the Uthenthawai campus of Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-ok on Phyathai Road and the Pathumwan Institute of Technology in the same district. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

Metropolitan police on Tuesday turned up knives, bullets and bomb-making materials when raided two Bangkok universities embroiled in a long-running and violent feud ahead of a Feb 1 anniversary celebration.

Pol Maj Gen Songpol Wathanachai, commander of Metropolitan Police Division 6, said 370 officers from Pathumwan police station, explosive-ordnance disposal units, and soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Battalion, staged simultaneous raids on Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-ok and Pathumwan Institute of Technology.

The operation, authorised by a warrant issued by the Bangkok South Criminal Court, comes ahead of Blue Day, which marks the Feb 1 founding of Rajamangala Tawan-ok and a traditional lightning rod for violent clashes between the two schools.

At the Uthenthawai campus of the Rajamangala University of Technology Tawak-ok, authorities seized 43 knives, 52 rounds of ammunition for .38, 9mm and 11mm pistols, six bulletproof vests, half a sack of urea, a can of turpentine and a quantity of small nails.

At Pathumwan Institute, the authorities found 12 knives.

Pol Maj Gen Songpol said the searches were a precaution against possible violence on Blue Day. The schools have violently feuded for years, with six Rajamangala students arrested in September for allegedly killing two Pathumwan Institute pupils.

Those shootings were described as revenge for the killing of a female Uthenthawai student in front of MBK shopping mall in Pathumwan in August last year.

In 2009, the two schools were involved in two separate shooting incidents around Blue Day as well.

Suebpong Muangchu, deputy rector of the Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-ok, said he regretted that the weapons and bomb-making materials were found, as school officials had prohibited such items from being brought on campus.

He said Blue Day would include a religious ceremony during the daytime. A homecoming party scheduled for the evening would depend on whether the National Council for Peace and Order grants permission, he said.


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