In Thailand security measures at the Indian embassy in Bangkok have been tightened after the arrest there recently of two Australians and one American on charges of possessing explosives for military purposes.
SV Indian Embassy EXTERIOR, Bangkok
CU Indian flag on Embassy building
SV Three arrested suspects arriving at police station in car and carrying personal effects into station (2 shots)
SV Suspects in cells
SV Suspects leaving cells
SV Suspects taken to interrogation room
SV Caroline Spark giving news conference
SV Photographers at news conference
SV Australian and American girls seated at news conference
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Background: In Thailand security measures at the Indian embassy in Bangkok have been tightened after the arrest there recently of two Australians and one American on charges of possessing explosives for military purposes. The three, all in their twenties, are believed to be members of the Ananda Marga religious sect. There have been a number of incidents recently in which Indian diplomats have been attacked by people claiming to be members of the sect. Apparently they want to dramatise their call for the release of one of the sect's founder members who is currently serving a life sentence in India for participation in an alleged murder conspiracy.
SYNOPSIS: Since the arrests, armed security men have been manning positions around the Indian Embassy on a round-the-clock basis.
The trio were arrested after a midnight raid on a cheap Bangkok hotel. During a search of their hotel rooms police said they found 1.25 kilograms (2.75 pounds) of high explosives, two dry battery cells, and some fuse connections. Newspaper clippings of recent bomb incidents were also discovered. According to Reuters the three denied all knowledge of the materials and told diplomats they would deny the charges. The three suspects, all vegetarians, have been named as Miss Caroline Spark, a schoolteacher from Canberra, Australia, Miss Sarah Child, from Washington, U.S.A., and Timothy Jones, a teacher, from Victoria, Australia. All are still being questioned by police. A special investigating committee handling the case told newsmen that Interpol and the Indian and Australian governments had been contacted for more information.
Since their arrest the trio have been treated mor like celebrities than criminal suspects.
Police even allowed them time to hold an impromptu news conference. No date has been set for the three to appear in court. The charge of possession of explosives for military purposes carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.