SHANGHAI, May 11 -- A court in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province, has given jail sentences to 11 men who pretended to be Shaolin monks and assaulted police officers and reporters after they were found out, the Beijing Daily Messenger reported today.
They were given jail sentences ranging from eleven months to two years for interfering with police work. All are natives of Baofeng County in Central China's Henan Province.
The Chengdu Television Station was tipped off viewers on November 22, 2006 that a gang of about fifty members were getting money near a suburban furniture mall by pretending they were monks of the prestigious Shaolin Temple and giving so-called Shaolin kung fu performances.
The reporters sent to cover the story by the television station clashed with the gang. The police were called.
The gang bashed police and spectators with wooden sticks during their attempt to flee, injuring five police officers, two militia members, four reporters, and several local residents. Amid the chaos, two patrol cars and the reporters' camera equipment were damaged. Thousands of onlookers gathered at the scene and traffic was paralyzed.
As the birthplace of Chinese kung fu, the 1,500-year-old Shaolin Temple is in Dengfeng City in Central China's Henan Province. It made more than 100 million yuan (US$12.9 million) in ticket revenue last year as its promotional activities attracted more visitors.