Chinese Police Detain 22 After Protest at Railway Station
Beijing. Police in southern China have detained 22 people after demonstrators forced their way into a high-speed rail station in a protest about land and housing issues, state news agency Xinhua has said.
Residents of Mazha village in Guangdong province entered the station platform just after 8 p.m. local time on Thursday, causing the train to depart 30 minutes late, Xinhua said late on Friday.
The protesters were quickly cleared away by police, who detained 22 for blocking the train and damaging public and private property, it said.
Xinhua cited residents as saying the protesters stormed the station “as a stunt to draw the attention of senior officials to issues with land, money, irrigation and housing in Mazha”.
“Large areas of land were sold cheaply, and many villagers were never properly compensated,” one villager told Xinhua.
The government has been trying to settle the dispute since September, but villagers have continued to stage protests, the report said.
About 90,000 “mass incidents” – a euphemism for protests – occur each year in China, triggered by corruption, pollution, illegal land grabs and other grievances.
In a separate incident on Saturday in downtown Beijing, about a dozen unidentified people were taken to hospital after apparently drinking pesticide and collapsing in a street in a shopping district, a state-run newspaper and reports on Chinese social media said.
Beijing newspaper The Mirror said the incident was quickly brought under control, although its cause was not immediately clear.
Beijing police declined to comment when contacted by telephone. Similar incidents have happened before in China, with protesters drinking pesticide or fertilizer in public areas in the hope of drawing attention to a grievance.
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Source: The Jakarta Globe