Chinese officials punished for locking child, grandfather

Beijing, Dec 31 (IANS) Eight family planning officials in China's Fujian province have been punished after a man posted online messages saying his father and daughter had been locked up by them in Xiangyang township.

Lin Tiesheng, 29, also posted a picture on his account on weibo, a microblogging website, last Wednesday showing eight people, including two children, locked behind a gate.

The man claimed the photograph was taken in the township's family planning service institution and showed his 63-year-old father and two-year-old daughter in it.

He said his father had been taken to the family planning service institution Tuesday because local officials wanted to collect a fine of over 20,000 yuan ($3,200).

Authorities wanted to recover the fine from Lin and his wife for giving birth to their only child before getting married.

According to Fujian province's family planning regulations, those who engage in "conception before getting married" should be penalised with a fine.

Since Lin was working in a different province and hence beyond the reach of the authorities, his father, who was caring for their child, was picked up.

The Nan'an government punished eight officials for being involved in the incident, either by firing, demoting or giving them warnings. Besides, the family planning institution apologised to the family.

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