The local prosecutor’s office in Shishou, Hubei province arrested 14 people for allegedly disturbing the public order by participating in a recent riot over the government’s handling of the mysterious death of a cook, the Beijing Daily reported Wednesday. The arrests include two of the cook’s family members.
Another 31 people have been detained by the local police, said Liu Changrun, the government spokesman, according to the Xinhua News Agency. The police station released 23 other people who surrendered to the police voluntarily or were not suspected of serious crimes.
The cook, Tu Yuangao, was found dead outside a hotel on June 17. The police declared his death a suicide, but his relatives were unconvinced. The government’s subsequent silence on the issue fueled rumors which exploded into a nearly three-day-long riot. The hotel that the cook died in was set on fire, and police cars were overturned.
Two top officials were then sacked for “mishandling the mass incident”, according to an earlier Xinhua report.