Tao Rukun, a so called Second Officer Generation in Hefei City of Anhui Province wooed his schoolmate Zhou Yan for years and when denied, he set fire on her, who is disfigured forever. The incident was only recently disclosed after 5 months and immediately drew outcry from the public.
February 26, 2012, Hefei - On September 17, 2011, a teenage boy named Tao Rukun, son of a government official broke into the home of Zhou Yan, a girl who just passed her 16th birthday, poured lighter gasoline all over her and set her on fire, shouting “Go to hell” very loudly at the same time. When the girl’s family came after hearing her screams and put off the fire, it was already too late. One of Zhou’s ears was burned off. Her face, neck and breast were severely burned with over 30% of her skin wounded. After 7 days in the intensive care unit, her life was saved but she was forever disfigured. Yet, the news wasn’t exposed until very recently, 5 monthly after it happened. Netizens react furiously and many think that the boy deserves severe punishment.
Why such cruelty? Dismal young love. According to the girl’s mom, Zhou Yan (周岩) and Tao Rukun (陶汝坤) went to the same middle school. Tao has wooed the girl since but his love was never accepted. Due to constant harassment from Tao, Zhou transferred to another school. She even took a long leave from school just to avoid Tao. Zhou Yan's mother contacted the parents of Tao and asked them to intervene and even kowtowed before Tao and begged him to let her daughter off. But nothing seemed to be able to stop Tao’s pursuit of love. The tragedy happened one month after Zhou returned to school.
According to the girl’s mom Mrs. Li, she spotted the boy when she left home for evening shift at work that night. She immediately sent her daughter a text message, warning her to take caution.
Acoording to a news report by Sohu.com, the girl is now out of hospital due to lack of money. Tao’s family paid for her medical expenses for a period of time but when Zhou’s family refused to sign a bail agreement, Tao’s family stopped all funding and the girl was forced out of hospital.
“At first, all the fee for hospitalization and treatment were paid by parents of Tao Rukun", Zhou Yan's mother Mrs. Li said, "but one day in October when Zhou Yan was still under intensive care, Tao's parents asked us to sign an agreement claiming Tao Rukun were active in rescuing Zhou Yan and gave himself to police soon after the tragedy happened. When we refused to sign they did not pay the treatment any more."
“The hospitalization and treatment of my daughter cost us more than 400,000 RMB. Tao family paid 330,000 of the sum and we still owe the hospital about 100,000. At the moment we still have to pay 300 and more everyday for the treatment of my daughter. I and my husband are ordinary people and working in the supermarket. I make only 1000 Yuan per month for the job. We have no money for the further treatment of my daughter, not to mention the face-lifting. We have no choice but bring my daughter home from the hospital. Mrs. Li added.
5 months later, the boy is still under custody and his trial is still pending. Why? Local police hasn’t done any evaluation of the girl’s damage yet. Her family was desperate and decided to seek help from the public.
Local police’s inefficiency was speculated to be related to the boy’s identity. He was found out the son of a government officer – the so called Guan Er Dai (官二代), or “Second Officer Generation”, a group that has been involved in numerous sandals in recent years. His father, Tao Wen, is the Director of Hefei Statistics and Auditing Bureau.
After the news caught national attention and became the #1 hot topic on Sina Weibo, the boy’s father registered a Sina Weibo account called Hefei Taowen. His one and only post was an apology. Below is the apology:
"I am Tao Wen and working at Hefei Statistics & Auditing Bureau. I have not taught my son well. I am very sorry for the irreversible harm and sorrow my son did to Zhou Yan and her family. I am here apologizing to all netizens. I will try my hard to treat Zhou Yan. At moment Tao Rukun is in custody and the case is under lawful procedure. I will accept the whatever result it proves to be. And I will never deny the lawful responsibility I should shoulder."
The post was shared nearly 70 thousand times since yesterday and was greeted by waves of attacks from angry netizens.
Subsequently, local police also released notice explaining the pending case through their official Sina Weibo account. According to the notice, Tao Rukun was under custody since September 2011 and the case would be investigated with justice.