CHINA–On November 11, a major riot broke out in Guangan City in Sichuan Province. According to the source, three high school students were shot to death, and one policeman was killed.
It was also reported that a police vehicle was burned. Currently, Guangan is under martial law and Internet access is blocked.
According to one local resident, the conflict was triggered by the death of a 4-year-old child from the countryside near Guangan City. On November 7, the child was sent to the Guangan City Second People’s Hospital for emergency rescue because he accidentally ingested a pesticide. The hospital refused to pump the child’s stomach because the family did not have enough cash (800 yuan, or US$100). The family promised to go back home and get more money, but the hospital was not dissuaded and the child died. Later, the hospital refused to pay, as required by law, compensation to the family for the death.
On November 10, the child’s mother went to the Guangan City government office to appeal her grievance, but was beaten by the security. Several high school students from the local Youyi High School witnessed the beating and had a conflict with a government official when they came up to stop the beating. That same night, because the students did not receive a response concerning the child’s death, they rushed into the hospital and smashed some of the doors and windows, which triggered a crack down by armed police.
A local resident witnessed that a police vehicle was burned and that police kicked and broke the ankle of a female student around 3 a.m. on November 11.
A Guangan City government official, who wanted to remain anonymous, told a journalist that currently, three students and one policeman were dead, and over 20 students and civilians had been arrested.
Regarding the incident, an official from Guangan Municipal Party Committee Office told the journalist, “We have nothing to say.” A Guangan City Public Security Bureau official told the journalist, “Currently, [this incident is] under investigation, cannot disclose information to others.”
According to a local resident, the Guangan City Second People’s Hospital has ties with some city officials, and people believe this is the reason that the death of the 4-year-old was not resolved for three days. They also believe that this is the reason the government did not respond to the students’ request, which caused the conflict to escalate.
Currently, Guangan and the surrounding area have been placed under martial law. Sources claim this is because there is a shortage of police in the area. The government has already mobilized armed police from nearby Nanchong City. Guangan’s Mayor has already flown to Beijing to report on the incident.
A journalist from another area could not enter into Guangan, and all Internet service in the city has been blocked. Local residents are worried another conflict could happen.