Relatives clash with police in China, seek truth about plane
Beijing: Over 300 angry relatives of Chinese passengers aboard the Malaysian airliner today clashed with security personnel outside Malaysia’s embassy here as China demanded the truth about the jet’s mysterious crash.
In a rare show of public anger in China, grief-stricken families and friends marched on the embassy to protest the way investigation into tracing the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 carrying 239 people, 154 of whom were Chinese – was handled.
According to eyewitnesses, protesters threw water bottles and demanded to meet the ambassador as they tried to storm the building.
Earlier, the relatives – some in tears – linked arms and marched peacefully holding placards and chanting “Malaysian government has cheated us” and “Malaysia, return our relatives”.
The protest came after the relatives gathered at a hotel – where many of the kin were put up by the Malaysian airlines during the last two weeks – and geared up to take out a march to the embassy following which security was stepped up around the hotel and even riot police were deployed, state-run CCTV reported.
Clashes broke out when security personnel tried to resist attempts by some relatives from approaching reporters outside the embassy.
They shouted, “return our relatives and “the Malaysian government are murderers”.
The demonstration came a day after an announcement by Malaysian authorities that the Beijing-bound Boeing 777-200 had crashed in a remote part of southern Indian Ocean.
Last night, emotional and violent scenes prevailed at the hotel after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that the plane “ended” at the Indian Ocean off the Australian coast.
CCTV showed a statement released by relatives of Chinese passengers questioning the premise that the plane has crashed as stated by Razak. The statement said there is no direct evidence to show the plane had crashed.
It also accused the Malaysian government of cheating the families and the world by withholding information which hindered the search operations and wasted valuable time.
A surprised Chinese government itself appeared to be questioning Razak’s conclusion that the jet had crashed in southern Indian Ocean.
Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng, who held a meeting with the Malysian Ambassador here last night, demanded Malaysia to provide “specific basis on which they come to this judgement”.
He demanded the Malaysian side to provide all information and evidence related to the analysis of satellite data.