5 February 2013
(c) 2013 Kyodo News
HONG KONG, Feb. 5 -- Hundreds of people protested overnight after a baby was killed under the wheels of a car driven by birth control officers collecting over-limit birth fines in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, a human rights watchdog said Tuesday.
The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said that during a chaotic situation that arose while collecting the fine from a family in Ma Yu Township of Wenzhou City, the birth control officers' car ran over the baby boy, sparking the protest at the town government building late Monday.
Clashes between riot police and some protesters left 10 people injured, the Hong Kong-based center said.
According to the state-run People's Daily website, a total of 11 government officials went to the couple's Dongshantou village home to collect an unknown amount of fine, but the father, identified by surname Chen, refused to pay it and argued with the officials.
His wife later agreed to go with the officials and got in the car. But shortly after the car drove away, the 13-month-old baby was found run over and was confirmed dead later at hospital.
Police are investigating the case, the report said.
A town government employee said police are investigating the accident, while denying anybody was arrested or injured during the protest and saying it was participated in by only 30-40 people.
"It was not imaginable for the baby to be accidentally run over by the rear wheel of the car," the employee, who refused to be identified, told Kyodo News by telephone. "We could not be sure what happened."
He said the baby is the family's third child.
The one-child rule applies to ethnic Han Chinese living in urban areas, with some exceptions including when both parents are only children or have rural residential registration.
Couples can be fined for each extra child. In cases in which the couples cannot afford to pay the fine, authorities can order an abortion or even sterilization.
China's population was about 1.37 billion as of 2010, government statistics show.