Royalist leader denies cleaner assaulted by rally guards

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Warong Dechgitvigrom, leader of the royalist group Thai Pakdee (Loyal Thai), today denied media reports that a guard at the group’s rally on Sunday beat up a Bangkok street sweeper because he was wearing a red shirt.

Warong, a former Democrat Party MP, set up the group to counter student-led anti-government rallies that have called for reform of the monarchy.

He posted a five-point rebuttal of the claim that his group’s guards had assaulted the street sweeper during its rally at Bangkok’s Dindaeng Thai-Japanese Stadium.

No guards had been employed for the event, since police had been informed in advance to secure the rally area, he wrote on Facebook.

He added that the crime scene was not close to the rally, and the victim was a cleaner at the stadium who wore a red shirt with no political implications.

However, an argument broke out after the man splashed participants heading to the rally while sweeping water off the road, he said.

“A witness said he saw a man trying to calm both sides down, before the suspect punched the cleaner and then called a taxi and left.”

The incident was merely a public order offence and had nothing to do with politics, Warong added.

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