Headline News


Public anger over "parapolice" reveals city administration dilemma

Source: Xinhua | 01-09-2008 15:51

BEIJING, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- At least a dozen "parapolice" officers were detained after being accused of beating to death a man who filmed their conflict with some villagers in the central Chinese province of Hubei on Monday.

Wei Wenhua, general manager of a Tianmen City construction firm, was driving past the site when he saw the clash between the villagers and more than 20 security personnel officers from the city administration, said his colleague Wang Shutang, who was in the car with him.

He infuriated the officers when he got out of the car to record the scene with his cell phone. They beat him up when he refused to delete the images, Wang said.

The beating continued after Wei gave up his phone, until he passed out.

Doctors said he had stopped breathing when he was sent to the No. 1 People's Hospital in Tianmen.

At least five villagers in Wanba Village of Jingling Township were injured in the clash, said Li Xiaoming, a Tianmen City government spokesman.

An injured villager, surnamed Li, said they were trying to veto the city administration's plan to turn wasteland near their village into a garbage dump.

Two years of dumping had left an unpleasant odor in their homes and even contaminated drinking water, villagers said.

When they tried to prevent a garbage truck from dumping at around 4:30 p.m. on Monday, dozens of parapolice moved in.

The local government said police were investigating the accident, which occurred barely a week after a group of city administrators attacked a man in the central Henan Province only because he had parked his truck in the wrong place and blocked the way of a parapolice wagon.

The two accidents had caused widespread discontent among the public. The news of Wei's death, published on the website, was followed by nearly 8,200 comments by 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

Many Internet users urged tougher punishment on the offenders. Some suggested the parapolice law enforcement arm should be eliminated.