Thai man killed for destroying Brahma statue
Worshippers at shrine beat a 27-year-old man to death in downtown Bangkok on Tuesday after he destroyed a famous statue of a Hindu deity with a hammer, police said.india Updated: Mar 21, 2006 11:58 IST
Worshippers at shrine beat a 27-year-old man to death in downtown Bangkok on Tuesday after he destroyed a famous statue of a Hindu deity with a hammer, police said. Thanakorn Pakeepol, who police said had a history of mental disorder, was killed by worshippers after he broke into the Erawan Shrine and used a hammer to shatter a four-headed statue of Brahma to which thousands of Thais come to seek favors and good fortune every day.
Police Colonel Suphisal Pakdinarunaj said two men have been arrested in connection with the killing.
The colourful shrine, located next to the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel in the middle of an upscale shopping district, is a popular tourist site in the capital.
It was originally built in 1956 to ward off bad luck during the construction of an earlier hotel, which was later torn down. Worshippers whose wishes are granted often return to the shrine to make offerings and pay musicians and dancers to perform. Some saw the incident as a bad omen for the country's political crisis as daily demonstrations aim to oust Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on charges of corruption and abuse of power.
Samrit Klomkliang, who says he has been a longtime personal astrologer for Thaksin's family, told reporters that the destruction of the statue was a sign that there would be bloodshed in Thailand if the prime minister doesn't quit before March 29. He also said April 2 -- the date of snap elections called by Thaksin -- was a "catastrophic day."
Astrology still plays a major role in Thai life even as the country adopts Western ways and modernizes.