4 officials punished for growing poppies found in gov't courtyard

Xinhua
Four officials in central China's Henan Province have received punishments after poppies were found in a government courtyard.
Xinhua

Four officials in central China's Henan Province have received punishments after poppies were found in a government courtyard.

Earlier this week, a resident of Huaxian County posted video footage of 53 blossoming poppies in the courtyard of the county government.

Police removed all the plants. According to the local government, the flowers were grown by two temporary workers, Chai and Wu.

The government buildings were built 60 years ago and cover an area of six hectares. The government transformed its courtyard into a vegetable field that provides food for its canteen. Temporary workers have been employed to grow vegetables there.

According to Chai, he found some poppy seeds two years ago. Last year, he and Wu sowed the seeds mixed with vegetable seeds in the courtyard. Chai and Wu have been dismissed and fined 500 yuan (US$79) each.

Two officials in charge of government affairs were suspended from their jobs, while a third was given a warning and a fourth summoned for talks.

Growing of poppies is not allowed in China, following a long history of opium abuse. Anyone growing poppies faces fines and detention, depending on the quantity of plants involved.

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