Faced with a quota to meet, an uncooperative populace, and little time, two Guangdong officials did the only thing they could think to do and bought corpses from a grave robber in order to ensure that enough cremated corpses would show up on their monthly record sheet, People’s Daily reported yesterday.
The officials bought the corpses from a grave robber who had made off with more than 20 corpses in night-time raids on graveyards. One official paid 3,000 RMB each for 10 corpses, while the other official was either a better bargainer or bought in bulk, because it was cost 1,500 RMB a corpse for him.
The officials were in the unenviable position of being in charge of funeral management reform in their area. The government has pushed a controversial policy that encourages cremations over burials in order to save land for farming and development. Meanwhile, locals have pushed back by ignoring the regulation and just burying their dead relatives in secret. This leaves local officials coming up short on their cremation quotas. Luckily, good old grave robbers are there to even the score.
Earlier this year, six elderly people in Anhui committed suicide to make sure that they died before a regulation to ban burials came into effect.
by Alex Linder
[Images via China Daily]