Two Chinese family planning workers were arrested for running over and killing a 13-month-old boy with their work vehicle after an argument with the parents over having a third child, prompting outrage on social media sites over the Communist Party’s one-child policy.
A local communist official from Zhejiang Province, surnamed Bai, and his driver, identified as Cheng, were arrested on suspicion of killing the young boy, reported Xinhua, a state-run mouthpiece of the Communist Party.
On social media sites, the death sparked condemnation among Chinese netizens, who accused the regime for maintaining the unfair and often brutal one-child policy.
The boy was dropped on the ground during the argument in Mayu township, which turned into a melee between the workers and parents, before he was run over and killed, according to the news agency. The father, Chen Liandi, said that he was unable to save the boy from being run over, but certain details were not clear.
The family planning officials had been seeking 100,304 yuan (US$16,000) from the parents for having an “unauthorized” third child, reported the state-run Global Times. Chen said he could not pay the fine and was later detained for 15 days by a local court last November.
He added that both he and his wife would be detained if they were again unable to pay the fine.
On Monday, thousands of protesters gathered in front of the Mayu township government buildings after news of the incident spread.
A Sina Weibo microblogger commented about the family planning workers: “They lost their humanity for money. They must be severely punished,” according to the AFP news agency. Another user said that the family planning agency is employed “simply to kill people.”
The Chinese Communist Party implemented the one-child policy three decades ago in an attempt to curb population growth, but recent violent incidents have triggered public backlash. Human rights groups say the policy has resulted in numerous beatings, forced abortions, sterilizations, and other forms of mistreatment.
In a well-publicized example last year, a photo of a grieving woman sitting next to her aborted 7-month-old fetus went viral on Chinese social networking sites. The woman apparently was forced to have the termination because her family could not pay the steep fine for having a second child.
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