Killings arouse anger at poor security
( 2003-11-25 08:56) (China Daily)
Is it a by-the-numbers action sequence if one killing is followed by another at the same location? One might be forgiven to think that this was a scene from a Hong Kong kung-fu flick.
Tragically, it was not.
Seventeen days later, a young man was stabbed to death in a shoe store on the same street by five or six gangsters.
But unlike the previous time, the witnesses, including proprietors of neighbouring stores, quickly called the police.
The landlords, an elderly couple, even went out to the station to report details. The cops came, and doctors were called in. It was confirmed that the young man was dead on the spot. This happened about 200 metres from the place of the previous killing.
This time, the netizens did not vent their anger at the indifference of local residents. Instead, they targeted the local government for their inability to maintain security.
What is wrong with this place, people asked.
"It is not a question of the weakness and indifference of ordinary people," read a message on sohu.com website.
"It shows how incompetent the local government is in dealing with the powerful triads there."
It was pure coincidence, insisted the Zhongxing Township government.
"We've paid special attention to crime fighting since the incident earlier this month," said Xian Qiang, a local official.
"We've set up a special unit. Unfortunately when the second incident took place, the patrol happened not to be near by."
The township is under financial strains, he explained. "Still, we have installed 200 street lamps to make the place safer. It is not a small sum for a town of this size. And overall security here is above average compared with similar towns," he said.
The words drew more criticism than understanding from netizens. "If two brutal killings in three weeks on the same street equals above-average security, what kind of society are we living in? Is Sichuan a slaugherhouse?" one asked.
"The competence of public security bureaux is a major factor that ensures people's sense of security," said an article in China Youth Daily. "If a criminal knows he is most likely to be caught when he commits a crime, he will hesitate before he does so."
But sadly, this is a far cry from the situation in Zhongxing township.
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