|Chinese police chief urges hardline crackdown on thugs in Xinjiang riot (07/08/09)|
URUMQI, July 8 (Xinhua) -- China's chief police officer on Wednesday urged no leniency in the punishment of thugs who took part in the Urumqi riot.
Meng Jianzhu, state councilor and public security minister, made the remarks when visiting local residents injured by the rioters and family members of those victims in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region's capital Urumqi.
In the July 5 riot at least 156 people died and more than 1,000 were injured.
Key rioters should be punished with the utmost severity and those who took part in the riot, who were provoked and cheated by separatists, should be given persuasion and education, Meng said.
Commissioned by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, Meng also visited local police officers and members of the Armed Police personnel and mourned for the victims.
Meng said that adequate evidence has proved that the riot was masterminded and remotely controlled by overseas separatists and it was a serious struggle to maintain national unity against separatism.