China / Society

Six officials punished after woman kills her four children in NW China

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-09-17 06:36

LANZHOU - Six officials have been punished for failing in their responsibilities after a mother murdered her four children before committing suicide, in northwest China's Gansu Province last month, according to a local government statement.

Yang Gailan, 28, of Agushan village, Kangle county, axed her son and three daughters, aged between three and six, to death before drinking pesticides and killing herself on August 26. Her husband Li drank poison and killed himself eight days later.

The murders exposed grave problems in the work of local officials, the Kangle county government said in a statement. Several officials bear inescapable responsibilities, it said.

Chen Guangjian, deputy township head, and two village level officials Li Jinjun and Wei Gonghui, were suggested to be removed from office.

Ma Yongzhong, vice head of the Kangle county, was given a warning by the Party, with two township officials, Bai Zhongming and Lyu Qiang, given a more severe warning.

At this stage, there have been no criminal proceedings.

According to the statement, there had been significant familial disputes in Yang Gailan's family, and they had little social contact with their neighbors and other villagers. However, village officials failed to mediate the disputes and communicate with the family.

Yang's home was in poor condition, but her family could not agree on renovation plans. Township and village officials failed to provide them with viable solutions.

Yang's family received a low-income allowance before 2013, but villagers voted against this as their income exceeded the poverty benchmark. Grassroots officials failed to effectively implement poverty-relief policies and did not alleviate the conditions of poverty for the family, the statement said.

Officials also failed to offer comfort to Yang's husband after the murders. Her husband Li, 31, committed suicide eight days after the murders.

Local authorities have promised harsh punishment should further investigations expose any violations of law or discipline.

Kangle county government had offered to help Yang's family to renovate their home, which was dilapidated.

An overhaul is underway in the county, so that disputes among residents can be properly settled, and the county government has been urged to step up renovation of houses in rural areas. An inspection will also be launched to investigate the handling of low-income allowances, the statement said.

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