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Official, driver detained over baby's death

English.news.cn   2013-02-06 18:07:58            

WENZHOU, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- A local official and a driver have been detained over the death of a 13-month-old boy who was run over in east China's Zhejiang province, authorities said Wednesday.

A Communist Party of China (CPC) community chief surnamed Bai and a driver surnamed Cheng were detained Tuesday night after a baby boy was fatally run over by a van in Mayu township in the county-level city of Rui'an, said a spokesman for the Rui'an city committee of the CPC.

The tragedy happened around noon Monday following an argument between local officials and the child's parents concerning fines that were levied on the parents, as the child was the family's third, according to a statement from the city government.

Eleven officials from the Qingxiang community in Mayu were attempting to persuade the baby's parents, Chen Liandi and Li Yuhong, to pay fines for their third child on Monday and were confronted by Chen, according a Rui'an city government official.

"We were required to pay 30,000 to 40,000 yuan (4,773 to 6,418 U.S. dollars), otherwise they would have detained us," said Chen, adding that he had been detained previously after the birth of their second child, a girl who is now 11 years old.

Chen said the boy was dropped to the ground during a tussle with the officials. Chen said he was too late to pull his child out of the path of an oncoming vehicle that had been started up during the fight. Chen did incur injuries to his hand from the vehicle.

Police are continuing to investigate the case.

Thousands of angry people stood in front of township government buildings after the incident became known to the public Monday afternoon, said a witness surnamed Huang.

In China, family planning policies have been strictly implemented to rein in the nation's surging population by encouraging late marriages and pregnancies, as well as limiting most urban couples to one child and most rural couples to two children.

Violent methods of enforcement by some family planning officials have angered the public in recent years.

Last June, a woman named Feng Jianmei from northwest China's Shaanxi province was forced to abort her seven-month pregnancy, as the family was unable to pay a 40,000-yuan family planning fine. Feng's family was later paid compensation of 70,600 yuan in the form of an out-of-court settlement.

Editor: Hou Qiang
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