BEIJING — Police have detained a local official and a driver for fatally running over a 13-month-old boy during an argument with his family over the payment of a fine for violating China’s strict family planning limits, state media and the local government said Wednesday.
The boy’s death Monday is the latest incident to aggravate long-running public resentment over the family planning rules that limit many families to one child and some rural families to two. After the incident in a village outside the eastern city of Rui’an, thousands of residents protested outside local government offices, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
Police detained the two people on unspecified charges late Tuesday, said a statement on the Rui’an government’s official website. Xinhua identified them as a local Communist Party chief named Bai and a driver.
How the toddler came to be run over is not completely clear from the government and state media accounts. Rui’an’s party Propaganda Department declined to comment further.
A team of 11 officials went to the village to persuade Chen Liandi and his wife, Li Yuhong, to pay a fine for violating the family planning limits. Xinhua said the requested fine totaled more than $4,700 and was for giving birth to the boy, the couple’s third child.
An argument ensued and Chen tried to prevent the officials from taking Li to a government office, though she soon relented and agreed to get into a car and go, the accounts said. In the confrontation, the boy dropped from Chen’s arms and was run over by a vehicle, the government statement and state media said. Xinhua said Chen tried to pull the boy away but was too late.