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A top drugs enforcer on an inspection visit to a police station surprised local cops and reporters when he asked for water to perform a cleansing exorcism ceremony.
So as other officers clasped their hands to their chests he poured the ceremonial water for the souls of suspects who had died in custody.
Chaiyaporn was on a inspection visit to Wat Phrayakrai police station on Wednesday where Thai Rath reporters were following his tour of duty.
He had called for a clean bottle of water as the entourage were going up to a second floor meeting room.
Asked about his actions the high ranking deputy at the drugs suppression division explained that he didn’t really want this to be reported as people might level charges of gullibility and ignorance at him but he had good reason for his beliefs.
He said that senior people he respected had told him that when he became a top cop it was important for him to make merit for those who might have died in police custody to satisfy the spirits of the dead.
“It is a small thing to do for peace of mind,” he said, referring to the water pouring. “And it doesn’t take up any police budget”.
Asked by reporters to elaborate on his experiences with ghosts the chief said: “I always pour ceremonial water for those who died in custody wherever I go.
“I once visited the station at Bang Khun Thian (near Bangkok) and after passing the cells I had difficulty breathing and had a very odd feeling. After pouring some water for the souls of the dead I felt better”.
The chief said that after doing that he found out that a suspect had indeed hanged himself in the cells at Bang Khun Thian.
“Just now I had exactly the same feeling here,” he said, “though I don’t know if anyone has died in custody at this station”.
The hair on the back of the necks of the Thai reporters was soon to go up big time as officer in charge of the cells at Wat Phrayakrai, Suk Phorang, stepped in to back up the chief’s observations.
Three years ago a drug suspect had hanged himself here, said Suk, while another man detained in the cells had complained thereafter that he was possessed by the spirit of the dead man.
He had begged officers to leave the light on in the cell at night as he cowered terrified by the door.
Suk added that in the last ten years of his duty at the cells he had helped save the lives of three other suspects in drug cases who had made unsuccessful attempts to hang themselves.
They were all stressed at the prospect of serving long terms for drugs but there also seemed to be more to it than that.
He thanked the chief for performing the ceremony and helping to make everyone at the station feel at ease.