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Killing of innocents can't be justified

By Zhang Zhouxiang | China Daily | Updated: 2013-06-14 08:15

The debate sparked by the recent blaze in a bus in Xiamen, Fujian province, which killed 47 people and left 34 injured continues. Local police have identified Chen Shuizong, aged about 60 years, as the suspected arsonist. Chen is suspected of torching the bus to "give vent to his anger" for having been denied justice and forced to live a life in poverty. He was burnt to death too.

Thousands of netizens have joined the debate. While a majority blame Chen for the deaths of 47 innocent people, some have expressed sympathy with him.

But one thing is for certain: Chen deserves condemnation rather than sympathy.

Among those killed in the fire were a couple, both doctorates from Xiamen University. They have left behind their three-month-old son. The 31-year-old husband, Lin Diwang, was born in a poor family at a village in Quanzhou, Fujian, and struggled to excel in studies and earn a PhD from Xiamen University. Therefore, poverty cannot be used as an excuse for arson by anybody.

Also among the victims were eight students who had appeared for the national college entrance examination on the first day. And seven other college entrance examinees were deprived of the chance to take all the exams after being seriously injured in the fire. Could Chen justify his action that not only killed 47 people, but also deprived the teenagers the opportunity to build a better future?

The trauma that the injured passengers have suffered can leave them scarred for life. Moreover, the fire has also shattered the lives of the families of the dead and injured, and left them staring into an uncertain future.

Several messages widely believed to be posted on weibo by Chen before the fire show how officials mistreated him when he tried to correct an error in his date of birth that would have fetched him a larger amount as pension which was vital for his family. Many netizens have criticized the local government for "causing" the tragedy and blamed Chinese society for the state that Chen reportedly found himself in. But it's improper to make premature judgments before such messages are verified.

Even in Western countries, which some netizens extol as being the epitome of justice and equality, some individuals go berserk at times, triggering blasts or gunning down innocent people. Besides, Western countries are not free of terrorist attacks, the latest of which is the Boston bombings. People always criticize and condemn such attacks, but seldom do they blame such crimes on the failure of Western society.

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