Protesting farmer crushed to death in Sichuan

Two more farmers die over disputes with developers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 April, 2013, 2:07pm
UPDATED : Friday, 05 April, 2013, 4:41pm

Another farmer has been crushed to death in China in a dispute with a mining company on Wednesday – the third such case in a week, mainland media reported on Friday.

Maliu villager Song Wuhua from Sichuan province died after he was run down by a bulldozer at a construction site. The bulldozer was owned by mining company, Chongqing Iron & Steel, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.

Last Wednesday, a Henan farmer was killed by a forklift in a similar incident. The driver was arrested on suspicion of “involuntary manslaughter”.

On Saturday, a woman farmer in Hubei was crushed by a cement delivery tanker in a suspected murder case. Gruesome photos of the earlier victims were widely circulated online. They sparked widespread outrage and condemnation from Chinese netizens.

According to Song’s family, he left his village for the construction site on Wednesday morning. He was planning to confront Chongqing Iron & Steel because their operations were blocking an irrigation canal which was the village’s only water source. It had been blocked several times in the past by this company.

Song’s family members said they were only told about his death at 6pm on Wednesday. When they went to a funeral parlour, they discovered an autopsy had already been carried out on Song. But the family’s permission to have this conducted had not been sought.

Ouyang Ming, vice mayor of Taihe, the town which administers Maliu village, told the Daily Song’s death was “an accident”. But his family said many things in the official account troubled them.

They said they wanted to know why it took so long to inform them about Song’s death and why they were not consulted before the autopsy was done.

The family also said that when they asked to see video surveillance footage of the scene, they were told the video equipment was broken.

Maliu villagers have long been at loggerheads with Chongqing Iron & Steel. Some villagers were asked to re-locate last year to make room for the company. They are still angry about the poor compensation they received for doing this, Song’s son said. He said his father had refused to move.