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An official from Guangzhou's Yuexiu district government denied that Fang Daguo, the senior district Party official who had a physical altercation with a flight attendant on Aug 29, has been suspended from his post as reported.
"Fang is just being investigated, and Yuexiu district is cooperating in the probe," the official, who was not named, was quoted by local media as saying on Wednesday.
Mo Gaoyi, a senior official with the Guangdong provincial publicity department, also denied that Fang had been suspended from duty.
"Relevant departments of the provincial government have not issued notices and statements to declare that Fang has been relieved from office," Mo said in response to local media's questions on Tuesday.
According to Mo, Fang is part of the military staff from the Guangzhou garrison command, and the command will handle Fang's case.
Early this week, a report on people.com.cn, the website of People's Daily, said that Fang had been suspended from his office on Aug 2 and faced further investigation.
Fang, 41, made headlines after he was reported to have had a physical altercation with a flight attendant on board a domestic Aug 29 flight.
Fang reportedly grabbed the flight attendant's arm when he and his wife boarded a China Southern Airlines flight from Hefei, Anhui province, to Guangzhou.
Fang is also the political commissar for the Yuexiu district armed forces department.
He allegedly confronted flight attendant Zhou Yumeng because she did not help the couple place their luggage in the overhead luggage compartment, according to the Xinhua News Agency.
Fang was also reported to have verbally threatened Zhou, saying that he has good relations with Zhou's boss.
Zhou was bruised and cried after Fang grabbed her arm, the reports said.
But the Yuexiu district government said Fang had a quarrel with Zhou, and Fang later grabbed Zhou's arm because Zhou was taking pictures of Fang.
Police were called after the plane landed at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, and they questioned Fang and Zhou at a police station.
Later, Fang said he had settled the case privately after he apologized to Zhou.
China Southern Airlines denied that Zhou has been fired in the wake of the case.
"Zhou still works for the company. And she is now just having time off at home," China Southern Airlines said in a statement.