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More violence at Phuket’s notorious Nui Beach

Police are investigating a violent incident at Phuket’s Nui Beach, where a group of men allegedly attempted to “claim” land ownership on Thursday. Again.

The beach, a popular tourist haunt, about 2 kilometres off the main road near the Karon View Point, down a windy track, has been the topic for numerous investigation, violence and visits from officials. The bottomline is that the operation of any businesses at the beach area is illegal and an encroachment of state land.

Yesterday Kwon police reported receiving a complaint shortly after 5pm from 59 year old Meekiat Phaisanworachai who accused Chalothorn “Boy” Chotpanang and others of assault.

Meekiat (the man in the blue shirt) told police that his younger brother had previous conflicts with Chalothorn over land at the infamous Nui Beach.

A quick background… Efforts by authorities to sort out the many issues surrounding Nui Beach have been unsuccessful. Four years ago, the Royal Thai Navy demolished all buildings at Nui Beach, but new structures were built, and business continued. Officials have stepped in before, informing “occupants” that they are encroaching on state land, but the claims of ownership and operation of lucrative beach restaurants has continued for decades.

And just two months ago, the Deputy Director-General of the Royal Forest Department led 100 officers to inspect the land. He told the occupiers they had 45 days to remove the buildings and associated works.

They’re still there.

Black to yesterday’s kerfuffle, around lunchtime, Meekiat had learned that “Boy” and an entourage of nearly 20 men had arrived to “forcibly claim the land” as there’s.

Meekiat said he rushed to the property to inform the men that the land belonged to the Forest Department and was part of the Nakkerd Hills Protected Forest area.

Videos shared online show “Boy” inspecting the land boundaries. One of the group noticed Meekiat recording their visit and grabbed the phone, setting off an arguement.

The videos show a man in a yellow shirt striking Meekiat with a piece of wood, while another man in a dark shirt punches him in the face and kicks him in the stomach. Another picked Meekiat in the head when he was on the ground.

Meekiat told police that “Boy” had attacked him with the handle of a machete. But he managed to escape and was taken to Chalong Hospital. He told police that he wanted to press charges of an “attempted murder” and presented police with a list of witnesses to verify his story.

ORIGINAL STORY: The Phuket News

PHOTO: Nui Beach in Phuket

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