Po­lice de­tain pair for death of en­vi­ron­ment in­spec­tor in Zhe­jiang

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Front Page - By ZOU SHUO [email protected]­nadaily.com.cn

Po­lice de­tained two peo­ple in Wen­ling, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, on Satur­day night af­ter an en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion in­spec­tor was run over and killed, the lo­cal gov­ern­ment said on Sun­day.

The sus­pects, sur­named Jiang and Wang, were inside the ve­hi­cle that hit Chen Ben, 30, an of­fi­cial at Wen­ling’s en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion bureau, around 6 pm on Satur­day, the lo­cal gov­ern­ment’s in­for­ma­tion of­fice said in a post on its WeChat ac­count.

Chen had been in­ves­ti­gat­ing a pollution case in Ruo­heng town­ship as part of an en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion en­force­ment team or­ga­nized by the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment and pub­lic se­cu­rity au­thor­i­ties, the post said.

Ne­ti­zens in­clud­ing Chen’s col­leagues and friends left many com­ments on the post lament­ing his pass­ing and con­demn­ing the two sus­pects. The post had been read more than 100,000 times by Sun­day af­ter­noon.

“Chen is my class­mate. I’m so sad and an­gry that we have lost such a young life. How can peo­ple com­mit such vi­cious crimes?” wrote one WeChat user.

“You al­ways treated your work as the top pri­or­ity and fought on the front line in in­ves­ti­gat­ing pollution. I will al­ways re­mem­ber your smil­ing face be­hind the goofy, round glasses,” a col­league wrote.

“It is such a pity that we lost a hero who works on week­ends. Pub­lic ser­vants must re­mem­ber to pro­tect them­selves first when per­form­ing their du­ties,” one ne­ti­zen wrote, while an­other added, “Such vi­cious crimes must be dealt with se­ri­ously and the sus­pects should face the max­i­mum penalty.”

It’s not the first time in­spec­tors have en­coun­tered vi­o­lence dur­ing reg­u­lar in­spec­tions since China’s en­vi­ron­men­tal au­thor­i­ties tight­ened su­per­vi­sion in re­cent years, in­clud­ing shut­ting down pol­lut­ing com­pa­nies.

In Au­gust, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion of­fi­cers in Shangluo, Shaanxi prov­ince, were be­sieged, ver­bally abused and beaten by con­struc­tion work­ers dur­ing a night­time in­spec­tion of dust and noise from con­struc­tion sites.

In March last year, four in­spec­tors check­ing a plant with many recorded pollution vi­o­la­tions in Dang­shan county of Suzhou, An­hui prov­ince, were beaten by the plant’s owner. Two of the in­spec­tors re­ceived se­ri­ous in­juries, ac­cord­ing to the pro­vin­cial en­vi­ron­men­tal au­thor­i­ties. The owner was de­tained by the po­lice.

In an­other case, a man sur­named Liu was sen­tenced to 15 months in prison in Au­gust for ob­struct­ing of­fi­cers in their du­ties in Ji­nan, Shan­dong prov­ince. He led a group of peo­ple who beat en­vi­ron­men­tal in­spec­tors when they checked dust pollution lev­els in Septem­ber 2015.

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