Police deny taking action against woman for remark directed at PM

Police deny taking action against woman for remark directed at PM

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha returns a wai to supporters during a visit to Wat Pa Ban Tad in Udon Thani on Wednesday. (Government House photo)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha returns a wai to supporters during a visit to Wat Pa Ban Tad in Udon Thani on Wednesday. (Government House photo)

UDON THANI: Police have strongly denied as untrue media reports that a woman who told Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to "retire quickly" had been threatened and brought to a police station to have her personal data recorded and for an "attitude adjustment".

The denial was made on Sunday at a press conference called by Pol Maj Gen Pitsanu Unahaseri, the Udon Thani police chief, in the presence of Pol Col Jakrapop Srichanta, the Ban Dung police chief.

The woman, a 28-year-old noodle vendor, made headlines when she directed a question at Gen Prayut during his official visit to Wat Kham Cha Not, a forest temple and well-known tourist attraction in Ban Dung district, Udon Thani province, on Dec 1.

While Gen Prayut was at the temple grounds meeting his supporters, the woman said to him: “We need a lot of development. If you can’t do that, I’d like to ask you to retire quickly to allow others to perform these duties.”

The prime minister reportedly turned back and asked: “What?” She repeated the comment.

“Go check what I’ve done and how much progress I’ve made,” he said in response.

Pol Maj Gen Pitsanu said at the press conference that following this encounter between Gen Prayut and the woman, there were reports she was threatened and brought to a police station where she had her personal data put on a police record and underwent an "attitude adjustment" session.

He said the woman was never summoned or brought to the Ban Dung police station as reported, adding that all police at the station would act only as permitted by the law.

Pol Col Jakrapop Srichanta, the Ban Dung police chief, reaffirmed Pol Maj Gen Pitsanu's denial.

Pol Maj Gen Pitsanu added: "Anyone who is uncertain about their safety should immediately inform the police. We would be glad to provide due protection.

"In this case, I would like to convey a message to the woman that she can rest assured that, from what happened, she has the right to free expression as well as to protection."

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