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China Daily Website

Chengguan accused of brutal attack

Updated: 2013-07-21 08:21
By Feng Zhiwei in Changsha and An Baijie in Beijing ( China Daily)

The police on Saturday detained six urban management officers who allegedly attacked a married couple selling watermelons on the roadside, leaving a man dead and his wife in a coma.

The six officers are all from Linwu county's chengguan, or urban management bureau, in Chenzhou in central China's Hunan province. They were taken into custody on Saturday morning on allegations they inflicted intentional injury, Tan Jiasheng, deputy director of the publicity department of Chenzhou city, told China Daily on Saturday.

The suspects are accused of being responsible for the death of Deng Zhengjia, a 56-year-old farmer from Liantang village, Nanqiang township of Linwu, who died after clashing with the chengguan officers on Wednesday morning.

Huang Xixi, the victim's wife, said when she and her husband were selling watermelons on the roadside in the county's downtown area, the chengguan officers came and grabbed four of their watermelons.

Huang said that she and her husband argued with the officers who attacked them, leaving them slightly injured.

The couple moved their watermelons and started selling them at a road crossing, but the chengguan officers returned and fined the couple 100 yuan ($16.28); however, the officers refused to give them a receipt for the fine.

Huang said she complained, prompting the officers to again attack the couple. She said the officers "seem like bandits".

Huang was allegedly beaten into a coma. When she regained consciousness, she found that her husband had passed away.

The county government said in a statement released on Wednesday afternoon that during the conflict with the law enforcement officers, Deng "suddenly fell down to the ground and died".

An eyewitness told Beijing News that an officer attacked Deng's head with a weight from a steelyard, but the county government announced at a news briefing on Thursday that none of the officers had struck Deng with the metal weight.

The autopsy report found that there were two serious wounds in Deng's head, one 6 cm in length and 4 cm in width, and the other one 5 cm in length and 2 cm in width, Xinhua reported.

The incident triggered public outcry on micro blogs, with many netizens blaming the chengguan officers' brutal law enforcement.

Deng's body was buried on Thursday evening after an autopsy, said Tan, the publicity official.

Hu Chen, head of Linwu county's chengguan bureau, and Zou Hongwei, deputy Party secretary of the No 3 law enforcement squad in the bureau, have been removed from their posts, Tan added.

Duan Waibin, executive deputy county governor of Linwu, said on Saturday afternoon that the government has reached a deal with the victim's family to compensate them with 897,000 yuan.

Contact the writers at fengzhiwei@chinadaily.com.cn andanbaijie@chinadaily.com.cn.

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