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July 12, 2011

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Metro guard fired for fighting

A security inspector at a local Metro station was fired yesterday for beating a passenger who refused to pass through a security check at the station entrance Saturday evening.

The inspector at Century Avenue Station, surnamed Wang, was fired after angry witnesses uploaded pictures online recording the scene where Wang beat a young man after he refused to go through the check and quarreled with him at the entrance of the station at 10:30pm on Saturday. Soon another inspector joined the fight, the pictures show.

In response, Wang's two superiors were removed from their posts at the station and were to receive fines and retraining for not stopping the fight, said the Shanghai City Railway Traffic Security Service Co.

Saturday's beating may not be unique. Another resident claimed on popular online forum that he was beaten by a security inspector at Jiashan Road Station on Metro Line 9 last Thursday after he refused to put his laptop into the security-check machine in fear that it would damage his computer.

The anonymous man said the inspector locked him in the guard's room, scolded him and then started beating him until he broke out of the room and called police.

He uploaded photos showing bruises with blood on his face and feet, and he said a hospital medical report indicated there were soft tissue contusions on his neck. There has been no response from police or the inspector's supervising company.

Earlier this year, railway police said a total of 22 security inspectors at Metro stations had been fired for misdemeanors ranging from sleeping on duty to beating up passengers.

Frequent violence over security checks has sparked discussion among locals, as some blame the passengers for ignoring the security checks and rushing into the station by force.

"The security check could be annoying sometimes, but it is necessary for the sake of other passengers' safety," said Zhu Lin, a white-collar commuter working in the Lujiazui area. "So it's passengers' fault for not complying with safety regulations."

Others blame poor management and training of security inspectors, who are not allowed to scold or hit passengers.

According to a Shanghai Daily investigation, the dismissed Wang was one of thousands of inspectors in the city who receive a monthly salary ranging from 1,300 yuan (US$200) to 1,600 yuan, not far above the city's required minimum monthly wage 1,280 yuan.

They have to keep "working hard" to find something illegal in passengers' bags to earn a 500 yuan bonus or face penalties for not being able to detect anything, said an official surnamed Zhang with Haotian Labor Co, an agent company that hires the inspectors.

Zhang said at some stations inspectors are required to carry out security checks on 70 percent of the passengers or face cash penalties, which could be a reason they sometimes behave rudely.


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