Social Development and Human Security Minister Issara Somchai has criticized police officers for their operation in controlling the Tuesday protest of blind and disabled lottery vendors.

The minister rejected the measures implemented by police officers to arrest those blind and disabled protestors although they were demonstrating during the state of emergency imposition. He said they were unarmed, and blind people could harm no one.

A group of about 200 lottery vendors including blind and disabled people, gathered at Government House on Tuesday to demand a fair quota arrangement of government lottery. The situation developed to be a drama after some disabled lottery vendors jumped into a canal nearby to escape police officers.

Mr Issara said he did not know about the quota arrangement of government lottery, and his ministry could not order police officers. He therefore would like to pass his criticism via media that he deemed the operation of the police to handle the demonstration inappropriate.

The minister admitted that the ministry could take care of disabled people by giving a monthly pension of 500 THB, and that would not be enough; therefore, vending lottery tickets could be another way of earning income for the disabled.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Thursday also ordered an investigation into the operation of police officers who handled the lottery protest.

News from NNT