It was the video footage which sent shockwaves across China, and even grabbed the attention of overseas media – a group of men dragging a young woman out of a barbecue restaurant in Tangshan, before beating her and other women with whom she was dining.
Have those alleged perpetrators been ‘protected’ by people in power?
That’s something which 15 people are now under investigation for, reports CCTV News.
The 15 individuals include people in Tangshan, Langfang and Hengshui – all cities located in northern China’s Hebei province.
Among others, those under investigation include a government employee in the Lubei district of Tangshan (where the Tangshan ‘barbecue incident’ took place), a Tangshan district deputy leader, as well as a number of employees at Public Security Bureau branches in Tangshan.
The Prosecutor’s Office of Hebei province also gave an update on the criminal case against a man surnamed Chen, as well as other individuals accused of carrying out the assault on the women.
According to the update issued today (August 29), Chen is accused of being involved in a number of criminal activities since 2012, including carrying out “illegal detentions” using violence and threats, involvement in gang brawls, intentionally causing injury to others, setting up illegal gambling hubs, robbery, cybercrime and “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.”
News of the thugs allegedly being ‘protected’ – as well as other related updates on the incident – have been top trending on Chinese social media platform Weibo.
As of press time, the top two trending hashtags related to the news have garnered more than one billion and more than 300 million views, respectively.
The incident took place on June 10, 2022. CCTV footage from the barbecue restaurant shows a man appearing to flirt with a female customer. After she pushes his arm away and rejects his advances, she is then dragged outside and viciously beaten by a group of men.
Two women were hospitalized, with one shown in pictures online to have been seriously injured. It has since been reported that the two women in question have recovered.
Since the incident, other cases of criminality in Tangshan – allegedly involving criminal gangs – have come to light, reports Global Times.
[Cover image via Weibo/@南方日报]