The Pattani police station chief who committed suicide this week was under intense pressure due to work-related issues, including the disappearance of a number of guns under his care, the national police chief said yesterday.
On Monday, Kapho police station chief Adun Pinaeba-ngo, 54, shot himself in the head about 4pm in neighbouring Yala province. He later died in hospital.
National police chief Adul Saengsingkaew said he personally knew Pol Col Adun and his family well enough to say that he was a man who took his work responsibilities seriously.
The missing guns added to stress caused by other work issues related to the southern unrest, Pol Gen Adul said.
Southern border police commander Phaithoon Chuchaiya said he had assigned his deputy to lead a probe into the suicide to find out the real cause.
A preliminary report showed five guns were missing but it remained unclear whether the guns disappeared before or after Pol Col Adun became Kapho police station chief, he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, who oversees police affairs, said he had received a report that the Kapho police station chief was under heavy stress due to the missing guns.
Mr Chalerm, however, said it was unlikely that work-related stress was the cause of Pol Col Adun's suicide.
"We have to figure out why the guns are missing," Mr Chalerm said. "If a sound explanation is found, then it's fine and new guns will be bought to replace the missing ones.
"There is no need for any policeman to take his life. The number of police in the South is small already," Mr Chalerm said half-jokingly.
But Pol Col Adun's widow Chutima Pinaeba-ngo blamed work-related stress as the sole cause of her husband's suicide.
She said the stress had pushed her husband into a depression.
Mrs Chutima had learned from her husband that he was under pressure to finish several investigations quickly, including a probe into an M79 grenade launcher attack at Kapho police station several months ago.
She believes the last straw that led him to commit suicide was the disappearance of the guns at the police station.
Mrs Chutima said the guns disappeared from the station before her husband became chief. She also claimed her husband told her several times that a superior forced him to sign a document in another investigation without giving him time to verify its contents. As a result, the suspects in that case were found to be innocent while other innocent people became suspects and were punished instead, she said.
The innocent people who were punished were her husband's subordinates and this had left him guilt-ridden, Mrs Chutima said.
Meanwhile, in Muang district of Pattani, tambon Mayo municipality deputy chief Theeralak Suwanarat was gunned down yesterday afternoon.
Theeralak, 51, was at a restaurant where he was about to have lunch with some people when he was shot dead.
In Narathiwat, Supeeyan Sahari, 26, who was detained yesterday morning with a stolen motorbike, allegedly confessed to delivering a motorcycle to a suspected insurgent to use as a bike bomb.
Officials say Mr Supeeyan told them he delivered the motorcycle to Abdulhaleng Dolo, who is wanted by police as a suspect in a number of security cases.
Also in Narathiwat, Ban Talo deputy village headman Jeni Jema was shot dead in a drive-by shooting as he rode a motorcycle to a football field to watch a match.
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