Victim's mum seeks DSI help

Saroj Tharatin, 80, right, mother of Sutin Tharatin, an anti-Thaksin Shinawatra protest leader who was shot dead during a protest in Bang Na in 2014, asks the DSI yesterday to ask over the police probe into her son’s death.  Tawatchai Kemgumnerd

The mother of an anti-Thaksin Shinawatra protester shot dead while on a truck three years ago yesterday petitioned the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to look into the death of her son.

Saroj Tharatin, 80, mother of shooting victim Sutin Tharatin, was accompanied to the DSI by Thosapol Kaeothim, a key figure in the so-called People’s Democratic Force to Overthrow Thaksinism (PDFOT).

Ms Saroj told reporters she wanted to seek justice for her dead son after having waited in vain for the outcome of a three-year police investigation into the murder which has yet to reach a conclusion.

She said she also wanted the DSI to treat the murder of her son as a special case.

Mr Thosapol said three years had passed and no apparent progress had been made in a Bang Na district police probe into Sutin’s murder.

Acting Bang Na police chief Samroeng Ampanthong said he was new to the post, so could not provide details on the probe’s progress.

Sutin was shot dead on Jan 26, 2014 in the Bang Na area while standing on the back of a truck after leading a group of anti-Thaksin protesters to block advance voting in the last general election.

Surakit Chaimongkol, 35, was arrested in connection with the murder and later found dead under mysterious circumstances in a detention cell.

The suspect’s mother said she believed her son was tortured and died in custody from internal injuries, disputing initial claims by officials her son died after an asthma attack.

However, nothing appears to have been done since, said Mr Thosapol, who believes Surakit was murdered in an attempt to prevent him from naming the real mastermind behind Sutin’s killing.

Cases brought against the anti-Thaksin protesters for obstructing the 2014 polls have passed through the courts, but police have not achieved anything regarding Sutin’s murder, Mr Thosapol said.

He said he felt he had to do something before the military regime steps down because an elected government was unlikely to ensure the police do their job properly.