Special Branch police to guard Govt House from protesters

Special Branch police to guard Govt House from protesters

Special Branch police will be deployed in the Government House compound around the clock this weekend. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Special Branch police will be deployed in the Government House compound around the clock this weekend. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

Two companies of 300 police from the 3rd Special Branch Division will be deployed to safeguard Government House from protesters who have planned to stage an anti-government demonstration at Thammasat University on Saturday.

The protesters have announced a plan to move to the Government House on the following day to hand over their demands to the government.

Pol Col Vacharavee Thamsema, commander of the 4th Sub-Division of the 3rd Special Branch Division, said the Government House, expecially the Thai Khufa and Banchakan 1 buildings, will be declared off- limits.

The officer said that if the protesters tried to get into the Government House compound, he had instructed the police under his command to first resort to negotations before taking other steps.

The area outside the Government House perimeter will be under the responsibility of police from the Metropolitan Police Bureau.

"The prime minister has given an instruction that, if possible, the protesters should not be allowed to gather around the Government House. According to the Public Assembly Act, the protesters must be at least 50 metres away, or at the Makkhawan Rangsan bridge," Pol Col Vacharavee said.

Pol Col Vacharavee said the Special Branch police will be deployed in the Government House compound around the clock this weekend without support from the military.

"Measures to protect the Government House will be taken as required by the situation. There is no code name for the operation plan," he said.

Asked whether Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha was concerned the protesters would continue to march to the Royal Plaza, Pol Col Vacharavee said the prime minister did not give any instruction concerning this matter. Moreover, no information had been obtained about the possibility of such a move.


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