The government in Jiexi county, Guangdong Province, on Monday said order had been restored to a local village, where chaos erupted in late February due to a land dispute. The county government acknowledged clashes took place on Sunday during police efforts to tear down roadblocks set up by locals in Shangpu village.
In a press release the county government said villagers had started to tear down their makeshift roadblocks voluntarily on Monday.
The roadblocks were set up after thugs stormed the village on February 22. The thugs were allegedly hired by Li Baoyu, the village's former chief, whose illegal inking of a land sale contract was opposed by villagers. Li has been arrested.
The county said that the public security department went to tear down the roadblocks near Shangpu early Sunday in accordance with law. The press release said a few villagers "stubbornly instigated trouble and incited other villagers to disrupt the police," adding that wrecked vehicles were also torched.
Police took some villagers, who stayed at the scene and refused to cooperate, away for "education," while a few others who suffered minor injuries during the clash were hospitalized, the press release stated.
A Shangpu villager surnamed Li said that the vehicles were used by thugs and seized by the villagers, adding villagers resisted having them taken away amid fear their evidence of the crime would be destroyed.
Li accused the police of cutting off electricity and communications during their operation as well as firing tear gas at villagers and beating them, causing more than 30 people to be severely injured. Five villagers were also taken away by police, he added.