Fang Daguo, an official in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province who had a dispute with a flight attendant last week, was suspended from his position and put under investigation Sunday, the People's Daily reported Monday on its official Sina Weibo account.
The news came amid a growing public outcry against Fang, a political commissar for the Yuexiu District Armed Forces Department in Guangzhou, as well as the prompt initial investigation report from the district government that downplayed Fang's involvement in the spat.
While cheering for the power of public opinion on microblogs, many Web users demanded that the Yuexiu district government should also be held responsible for its earlier attempt to draw an irresponsible conclusion to the incident.
The fight was first exposed to the public after the flight attendant of China Southern Airlines claimed on her Sina Weibo that she was beaten on August 29 by a couple in a dispute over luggage placement on a flight from Hefei, Anhui Province to Guangzhou.
The local government claimed in its investigation report Friday that Fang's wife had fought with the attendant, but Fang himself did not beat her, nor had he threatened her by summoning a military vehicle.
Fang and his family already apologized to the attendant after the dispute, and the two parties had reached an agreement, according to the report.
This official conclusion did not end the matter, as the public began to challenge the truthfulness of the report and called for Fang to be held responsible.
Official news media joined the fight, with Xinhua quoting an eyewitness account of Fang's alleged assault and openly questioning the local government's report.
The story became more complicated Sunday as a person who claimed to know what happened on the flight and at the police station afterwards wrote on Weibo that the attendant who claimed to be the victim also shared some responsibility for the fight.
Weibo users expressed their suspicion and called for further investigation.
News we recommend