|Police are offering a reward of 500,000 yuan for any information on the whereabouts of 35-year-old Xiaga, who is suspected of being involving in the shooting that killed Zhang Wei, an official with the office of social stability maintenance, known in Chinese as "weiwen," in Xinlong, a county in the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China's Sichuan province, on Saturday, June 14, 2014. [File Photo: Chinanews.com]|
CHENGDU, June 19 -- An officer in charge of maintaining social stability in southwest China's Sichuan Province has been shot dead, and the suspect is on the run, local authorities said on Thursday.
Zhang Wei, of Tibetan ethnicity, deputy director of the security maintenance office of Xinglong County in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, was murdered on his way back from a mission on June 14th, sources with the prefecture said.
Zhang had led a team to Chongcao Mountain to maintain order while locals were collecting yartsa gunbu, also known as caterpillar fungus, a rare plant that is highly valued as a herbal remedy.
He began making his way back last Saturday afternoon as locals' collection finished. Zhang was shot by an unidentified attacker while he was in Tabu Village of Picha Township, according to the sources.
Police said their investigation has indicated the crime was premeditated and motivated by revenge, although the reasons for the killer seeking revenge were not specified.
Police have identified the fugitive suspect as Xiaga, from Langzhu Village of Xinlong County.
China has stability maintenance offices in each administrative level from counties to central government to handle disputes and complaints, monitor social conflicts and settle problems in order to secure social stability.