Officials punished after 3 people set themselves alight in E China

08:24, September 19, 2010      

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Eight officials have been removed from their posts or placed under investigation over a property row in east China's Jiangxi Province that left an old man dead and two others injured after setting themselves on fire

The three committed the tragic protest on Sept. 10 when confronting workers who planned to demolish their house to make way for the construction of a bus station in the Fenggang Township, Yihuang County, Fuzhou City.

Workers from the local construction department visited Zhong Rukui's residence and tried to convince the family to accept the offered compensation.

Three family members appeared and began to threaten the workers that they would douse their bodies with gasoline and then light themselves.

The three -- Luo Zhifeng, Ye Zhongcheng and Zhong Ruqin -- then set themselves on fire and were taken to hospital.

Ye, 79, died Saturday morning and the other two are still being treated at the No. 1 Hospital Affiliated to the Nanchang University.

Eight officials, including Party chief of the county, head and deputy head of the county government, as well as principal officials from local departments of housing administration, construction, transport and public security, have been removed from their posts or placed under investigation, a spokesman with Fuzhou municipal government said Saturday.

The provincial government has ordered all-out efforts to treat the injured residents, the spokesman said.

A 2007 county government plan called for the relocation of more than 20 households for the construction of the bus station.

Zhong's family was not satisfied with the offered compensation of more than 400,000 yuan (59,000 U.S. dollars) and refused to move out.



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