BANGKOK - Thailand's Police Commissioner- General Pol. Gen. Phatcharawat Wongsuwan was Friday removed as the national police chief and seconded to an inactive post at the PM's Office.
Passengers wait in the line of check in at U-tapao international airport, 140 km (87 miles) southeast of Bangkok November 28, 2008. [Agencies]
The government appointed police inspector-general Pol Gen Prateep Tanprasert as caretaker police commissioner-general.
Phatcharawat's removal came less then 24 hours after the police were made to lead state of emergency operations to dislodge anti- government protestors from the Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports of Bangkok, both have been closed due to the protest.
Local The Nation news network said "inevitably, the removal revived rumors about a military coup, as speculation revolved around whether Army chief Anupong Paochinda would be the next transfer target."
The Army has shown reluctance to be engaged in any drastic action against the anti-government People's Alliance for Democracy, the report said, especially, according to the state of emergency declaration which was announced by the Prime Minister on Thursday night, the Army's role was very limited in its implementation.