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Tension run high today as DSI attempts to search Dhammakaya temple looking for the abbot

Several thousands of the Dhammakaya temple abbot’s followers formed human shields inside the temple to protect the controversial monk following report that a special team of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) started to begin what it called the “Krabil 59” operation.

DSI raid templeThe team of DSI officials in a convoy of more than 10 vehicles, and joined by police from Klong Luang police station, moved out of the Klong Luang station before 9 am today after the Criminal Court issued the DSI the warrant to search the temple for the abbot, Phra Dhammachayo.

It was not immediately known if the DSI team could enter the temple or which gate they will choose to enter the temple as now several thousands of followers have already formed human barricades to shield the abbot.

The temple has nine gates but now all were shut with more barriers being erected.

The gate close to where the abbot is said to be residing is now blocked with two backhoes from outside, while inside green fibre nets were used as curtain to obstruct eye observation from DSI team trying to enter the compound.

Behind the green net curtains lined the followers sitting on the road to keep off DSI’s entry as human shields.

Above the temple are surveillance balloons for followers to observe movements outside.

The abbot is still inside the temple as DSI team, accompanied by hundreds of news journalists, are outside the temple trying to negotiate for peaceful entry by showing the court’s search warrant.

Earlier the temple’s layman spokesman said the temple would be willing to allow the DSI to enter the temple.

But today’s even tighter security around the temple with all gates blocked and security check for vehicles entering the temple mounted has proved the DSI team is not welcomed.

The DSI wanted to enforce the court’s warrant and to convince the abbot to acknowledge the charges so that everything could proceed under the justice system.

Justice Minister Gen Phaiboon Khumchaya earlier warned that any resistance of arrest by the disciples could face legal action.

He also indicated that if the abbot still remains stubborn, and does not acknowledge the charges, bail might not be granted to him if he is arrested.

He said continual defiance of the law would do no good to the abbot as the DSI has to perform its duty to enforce the law.

Thai PBS

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