Friday May 25, 2018
Home > News > Society
Text:| Print|

Monks run amok

2012-02-03 11:29 Global Times     Web Editor: Xu Aqing comment
Ma Jiankang is overcome with emotion as he surveys his destroyed home on February 1. Photo: Li Qian/GT

Ma Jiankang is overcome with emotion as he surveys his destroyed home on February 1. Photo: Li Qian/GT

Tibetan resident Ma Jiankang never thought his family could be attacked and his home destroyed by a mob. Neither did he want to believe the attackers were his fellow Tibetans.

Ma, 51, a former factory worker, now works as a self-employed taxi driver in Luhuo county, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province. Events happened too fast for him.

On January 23, the day of Spring Festival, when he and his 74-year-old mother were drinking tea and watching TV at home, Ma's house was stormed by a knife-wielding mob shouting death threats.

As he rushed to find a hiding place, the group, consisting of both men and women, smashed down the door to his courtyard. They destroyed the taxi parked in the yard, Ma's sole source of income save for the 160 yuan a month subsidy he received after being laid off from the factory. Fortunately, Ma, his mother and his cousin managed to escape.

Everything in the house was ruined: The furniture was smashed, and more than 30,000 yuan hidden in Ma's mattress and wardrobe pillaged.

"It's such a big loss for me. Why did this happen to me?" Ma had tears in his eyes as he stood in the ruin of his home.

Ma's house was targeted because his younger brother, Ma Wen'ge, is the chief of a local police station in Luhuo. They went deep into the residential compound to destroy Ma's house. Other houses were spared.

Police station targeted

The attack was part of a wider riot. In the morning, rioters protested at a main road intersection in town before the event turned violent. More than 1,000 people gathered in the riot, though many of them only watched, local officials said.

The rioters turned violent on their way to attack the police station, and the police were forced to respond with gunfire.

The incident resulted in one rioter dead and multiple injured, including many among the police. Officials say that 31 rioters were detained during the riot.

Ma Wen'ge was inside the police station when the riot happened.

According to the police chief, the police first tried to disperse the rioters with high-power water guns and non-lethal weapons like rubber bullets, but failed. The window of the police station facing the street was smashed.

"Rioters continued to attack and tried to grab the guns from the police," he stated.

Then the police decided to open fire, Ma said. "They first shot in the air as a warning, but it was completely ignored, so we had no other choice but to open fire."

A lead rioter was shot down and others scattered.

"The police have no intention of starting a conflict, especially in these ethnic regions," he said. Because of this incident, his Spring Festival holiday was ruined.

Just like Ma, many government employees from the prefecture and county levels had to return from their holiday.

As a frontline law enforcer, Ma says he was ready for all possible situations, but he was sad that his home was targeted.

"I'm prepared for everything, with no fear, save for my family and my elderly mother," he said, lowering his voice.

Comments (0)

Copyright ©1999-2011 All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.