A plaque placed by Thai anti-royalty protesters near the Grand Palace in Bangkok has been removed, as police warned they may charge those behind the symbolic gesture.
The plaque, declaring that Thailand belongs to the people and not the king, was placed on Sunday after a rally by tens of thousands of people calling for reforms to the monarchy of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
"I've received a report that the plaque is gone but I don't know how and I don't know who did it," Bangkok's deputy police chief Piya Tawichai said.
"Police are checking with the BMA (Bangkok Metropolitan Administration) and checking who took it out as the plaque is part of the evidence to charge the protest group (for this wrongdoing)," Piya said.
At the biggest demonstration in Thailand in years, protesters cheered calls for reform of the monarchy as well as for the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader, a new constitution and elections.
The new plaque resembles one that had commemorated the end of absolute monarchy in 1932 and which was removed from outside a royal palace in 2017, after Vajiralongkorn took the throne.
Prominent right-wing politician Warong Dechgitvigrom said on Sunday the plaque was inappropriate and the king was above politics.
"It didn't achieve anything," he told Reuters. "These actions are symbolically against the king, but the king is not an opponent."
Anon Nampa, an activist and human rights lawyer, told Reuters the plaque should be returned to the people.
"We will go and file a complaint to police today to find that plaque which is the people's property and who took it," said Anon, one of the leading figures in the loosely organised protest movement.
Protesters have grown bolder during two months of demonstrations against Thailand's palace and military-dominated establishment, breaking a longstanding taboo on criticising the monarchy - which is illegal under lese majeste laws.
Protest leaders have called on Thais to take October 14 off work to show their support for change.
Australian Associated Press