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Migrant in Shenzhen holds woman hostage demanding RMB100,000 for trip back to Sichuan

Posted: 07/9/2012 7:00 am

We live in uncertain economic times, and one of the groups that is most threatened by faltering economies is the migrant workers of China. In 2009, rising unemployment in manufacturing hubs such as Shenzhen and Dongguan caused many migrants to lose their jobs and forced them to go home. But what of the ones who cannot afford to get home? One young man faced with this problem has taken a proactive (though excessive) approach.

A 23 year-old man in Shenzhen’s Baoan District held a woman at knife-point demanding 100,000 yuan from the government to pay for transport back to his hometown in Sichuan, according to local media.

Around 9 p.m. on July 5, the man abducted a woman who was walking with her sister on Fuyong Road with a knife he had just bought. After a stand-off in which he knelt down holding her next to him, a policeman offered him a loudspeaker with which he could announce his demands. The policeman then hit him in the head with the loudspeaker before another cop who stood poised behind him and a group of onlookers crowded around to subdue him. The attacker has been detained and the victim is in hospital in a stable condition.

According to a witness named Mr Sun, the attacker was carrying a large knife used for cutting watermelons. After waving it around maniacally, he knelt down with the woman. You can watch parts of the scene unfold here.

After being taken to the police station, the assailant gave an explanation that was described by local media as leaving one not knowing whether to laugh or cry. He comes from Sichuan and has been unable to get work in Shenzhen. He wants to return but doesn’t have the money to do so, so he kidnapped the girl in a sudden act of desperation. A witness named Mrs. Shi confirmed that he had been “screaming” his demand for 100,000 yuan from the government.

The sisters surnamed Zou explained that they were walking home from a trip to the shops when they were assaulted. The man has been detained for questioning.

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