In a statement issued on Monday regarding the death of Chaiyaphum Pasae, a 17-year old Lahu activist on March 17, the NDM said that it had doubt about the clarification of the police regarding the shooting incident.
Police claimed that Chaiyaphum was sitting next to Pongnai Saengtala, the driver of a car suspected of carrying methamphetamine. When the police stopped the car in Chiang Dao district of Chiang Mai in order to carry out a search, Chaiyaphum alighted from the car and tried to escape by running into the woods and police gave chase.
Police claimed that Chaiyaphum tried to hurl a hand grenade at the police who shot him dead in an act of self-defence. About 2,000 methamphitamine pills were seized from the car.
The movement demanded public prosecutors and local officials to join police inquiry officers and a doctor in carrying out an autopsy of the victim’s body. It also demanded safety for the arrested car driver.
Pol Maj-Gen Panudet Boonruang, deputy commissioner of Region Five Provincial Police Bureau, urged netizens to use sound judgement in their access to report in the social media about the incident which tend to blame the authorities for overacting in their fatal shooting of the activist.
He said that the police had to shoot Chaiyaphum in self defence because the latter tried to hurl a hand grenade at them.
Chaiyaphum used to represent the Ton Kla youth network in Chiang Rai and was actively involved in civic activities. He won the Special White Elephant award for a short movie at the 16th Short Film and Video Festival and was involved in the production of several documentaries aired by Thai PBS.