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Parents of Student Killed in University Hazing Ritual Refuse US$1,500 Compensation

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The parents of the university student killed in a brutal hazing ritual have rejected the US$1,500 compensation offer to them from the parents of seven senior students.

The father said he would seek justice through the courts.

On Thursday, Mr. Ekachai Chonpakdi, 55, said he spoke with the parents of the seven senior students at the Rajamangala University of Technology in northeastern Thailand.

He said that they had offered him US$1,500 financial compensation for the death of his son.

He said he rejected the financial compensation offer and asked them, “Can you give me my son’s life back?”. They were unable to answer my question,” Mr. Ekachai said.

He pledged to fight the case to the very end, through the justice system.

Both he and his wife have cried every night since losing their son. They were unable to cope with the loss.

University Student Beaten Unconscious

On the night of March 13, Padyas “Prem” Chonpakdi, 19, a first-year student of Rajamangala University of Technology Isan, was beaten unconscious during a hazing ritual in a dry paddy field at Ban Khok Makok in Muang district in Nakhon Ratchasima.

It was first posted on ANTI SOTUS’ Facebook page. Often, hazing is referred to as Seniority Order Tradition Unity Spirit.

The 19-year-old Padyos were taken to the rice field by senior students under the pretense that they were going to play football.

Instead, the gathering football game ended up being a brutal hazing ritual in which Padyos was forced to drink alcohol and then beaten unconscious by the seniors.

Padyos tragically died on the way to the hospital.

Physical Assault Resulting in Death

The seven senior university students have already been charged with physical assault resulting in death for their involvement in the brutal hazing.

According to Mr. Ekachai, the body of his son will be taken to Wat Noi in the Sikhiu district of Nakhon Ratchasima for religious rites. He will be cremated on the 21st of March.

He had originally planned to take his son to his home province of Nakhon Si Thammarat, but the distance was too long.

A preliminary postmortem examination revealed that Padyos had suffered severe chest injuries, along with bruising to his lung, Mr. Ekachai said.

It was his suspicion that more than seven senior students were involved in the brutal act which killed his son. It’s very possible that there were more involved he said.

Other Students Assaulted

According to a police source, additional charges of physical assault have been filed against the seven students. Another two juniors were also injured during the hazing.

The 7 students and 18 other students who organized the hazing ritual, were also charged with causing indignity to junior students. They were forced to take off their clothes and violate communicable disease controls.

An academic panel meeting at the Rajamangala University of Technology will be held on March 19th to determine the academic penalties for the 25 senior students involved.

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