Friends say bomber was driven to action

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 June, 2011, 12:00am


Qian Mingqi was one of the pioneers of the refrigerated coffin rental industry. He started his business almost 20 years ago in Fuzhou, Jiangxi province, earning around 200,000 yuan (HK$240,300) a year. For him money was never a problem; it was the injustice that he had faced that forced him into such irrational actions, says Chen Dan, who owned a small plant next to Qian's shop.

'I guess that's the trigger that made him make up his mind to bomb the procuratorate building after years of fruitless petitioning,' said Chen.

Chen says she has no idea why Qian bombed the food and drink administration buildings.

'To be honest, I couldn't believe he was really dead at first,' Chen says, with tears in her eyes.

'Of course, it was a mistake for him to kill two innocent people, but from my point of view, I would rather he was still alive because he was such a decent and kind-hearted person.'

For the past three years, he allowed Chen and her husband to stay for free in his former office, after their own home was demolished to make way for a road. Chen says Qian was not a greedy person.

Over the years, Chen says, Qian occasionally wrote anti-government slogans on the remaining wall of his shop, which faced the road.

She says: 'Whenever the local authorities sent someone around to whitewash away his critical verses, Qian always painted a brand new one.'

Chen says Qian told her he was once thrown into a 'black jail' when he was spotted by police from Jiangxi who had been sent to intercept petitioners in Beijing.

Another neighbour says Qian was beaten up by 'thugs' before being locked up in a psychiatric asylum for around a month.

Qian's deeds may have attracted the public's attention, but forced demolitions are continuing.

One young man said that the day before the bombings, he saw two protesting women dragged from their home in nearby Wangjia village before the house was knocked to the ground. Family members who blocked the road were beaten by 60 or so police officers.

A local peasant in his 60s says Fuzhou officials in charge of demolitions and evictions are notoriously corrupt.

'There is almost nothing that can be called justice or rights here, otherwise the bombings would not have happened,' he says.

'Some have suggested that Qian was actually bombing the morally degenerate. I couldn't agree more.'