Police chief, commissar replaced after violent protest in SW China

2008-07-04 01:41:30 GMT       2008-07-04 09:41:30 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

GUIYANG, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Two police officials of a southwest China county that saw a violent protest on June 28 over the death of a teenage girl have been replaced for "severe malfeasance".

Pang Hong on Thursday took office as Weng'an county public security bureau director to replace Shen Guirong, Pang's forerunner, while Zhou Sheng as political commissar to replace LuoLaiping, Zhou's predecessor, Guizhou Daily reported.

A protest, with 30,000 people being involved, broke out on June28 following a police report on the death of the junior high school student Li Shufen last month. Police said the 17-year-old drowned, but her family and relatives contend she was raped and killed.

The protest turned violent and rioters mobbed government office buildings. More than 150 police and protesters were injured, but no deaths were reported. About 160 offices and more than 40 vehicles were torched.

Guizou Provincial Party Chief Shi Zongyuan said leaders of the county's CPC committee and government had an undeniable responsibility for Saturday's violent protest ignited by a controversial police report into the girl's death.

Wang Fuyu, provincial deputy Party chief, who is heading an investigation into the violence, said the protest would not have happened if local officials had communicated appropriately with the aggrieved people after the first signs of protest emerged.

The deep-rooted reasons behind the protest were the "rude and rough-hand solutions" of local authorities to solve disputes over mines, demolition of homes for city building, relocation of residents for reservoir construction and many other issues, said Shi.

The provincial committee has required local CPC discipline inspection and supervision departments to investigate allegations against other officials in dealing with the protest.

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