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University student fined B6m for removing plants

What is the price for removing decorative plants at Democracy Monument? Student activist Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul found out in a police charge.

The Thammasat University student said on Sunday she was ordered by Samran Rat police station to pay 5.9 million baht in compensation for damage caused by taking out plants placed to decorate the monument.

Ms Panusya said she was also charged for violating the emergency decree and sanitary and disease control acts in relation to the rally at the Bangkok landmark on Feb 13.

Ms Panusaya and other protest leaders under the People’s Movement banner led the rally to press for the release of four detained activists on Feb 13. The protesters removed the plants from the monument to clear the way for the protest.

Panupong Jadnok, also known as Mike Rayong, on Feb 13 accused the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration of intentionally placing the trees there to obstruct the rally.

The demonstration ended with a scuffle with police outside the Supreme Court near Sanam Luang after authorities blocked them from going to pay their respects at the Bangkok Pillar Shrine following a march along Ratchadamnoen Avenue from the monument.

Ms Panusaya is among about six people to be charged in the same incident.

She faces more serious charges, including lese majeste, following a rally on Sept 19 at Sanam Luang. The Criminal Court will inform her about the prosecution on Monday.

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