Official silence over the suicide of a senior Jiangxi cadre has fuelled widespread speculation over the reason he decided to take his life. State media reported that Yu Xiaoping, party secretary and mayor of Shangrao in Jiangxi province, was found hanged at his home eight days ago. But the lack of details has led to allegations that officials are trying to cover up a corruption scandal to protect themselves and their cronies. Yu's funeral was last Friday, but officials have made no comment on the reason for his suicide. Yesterday, an official at the Shangrao Propaganda Department confirmed the death, but refused to give details. Rumours surrounding the case have been running wild. Some say Yu's death was linked to a clandestine love affair, but most say he was facing an investigation into financial irregularities. The Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po yesterday quoted sources as saying Yu was being investigated by the Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. Mainland media reports said Yu sold a plot of land at a discounted price to a friend's company for development. Other reports said Yu killed himself after a friend disappeared, leaving him responsible as guarantor for a debt of hundreds of million yuan. Yesterday, an evening newspaper in Anhui reported the Jiangxi provincial party committee secretary, Meng Jianzhu, as saying an announcement regarding Yu would be made when the time was right. State media portrayed Yu as a charismatic and intelligent speaker, a shrewd boss and an active community leader. He was heavily involved in a number of investment and community projects and had shown no sign of strain, media reports said. Many people expressed their anger over the official silence. The Henan-based Dahe newspaper attacked the local government for not disclosing the circumstances of Yu's death.