Enraged residents besiege Shaxi local govt offices after school beating

By Yan Shuang Source:Global Times Published: 2012-6-27 1:35:03

Hundreds of residents in Shaxi, in South China's Guangdong Province, yesterday confronted a barrage of police officers during demonstrations outside local government offices.

Police from Shaxi township, in the city of Zhongshan, confirmed the clash in a statement posted on their official Weibo account last night, saying the gathering began on Monday afternoon and lasted until early yesterday morning when the crowd was dispersed by police.

According to the statement, the protest was sparked on Monday afternoon, by the beating of a local elementary school student by a teenager from Chongqing in front of the school, before local security officers from Longshan village tied the teenager up and injured his face while trying to settle the fight.

Some 30 friends and family members of the teenager came to the village committee office, and later the crowd grew to over 300, some of whom threw rocks at the office windows, said police.

According to the witness, hundreds of non-locals rallied for the second time yesterday and besieged the township government offices.

Photos taken by a witness show a large number of paramilitary police vehicles and officers were sent to block major roads leading to the township government. Cars were smashed and comments online described fights between Sichuan migrant workers and locals.

While word of the fight spread online, local police said yesterday that there had been no casualties, and the crowds had been rallied by a group of people who intentionally riled up the public with fabricated stories.

The father of the Chongqing boy, surnamed Tan, said in an video clip posted on the Zhongshan police's official microblog, that he does not know anyone in the crowd and he only has one relative in Shaxi township. The teenager was sent to the Zhongshan People's Hospital, and he was only wounded on the forehead.

Clashes between locals and thousands of migrant workers from Sichuan were also seen last June in Chaozhou, Guangdong Province, over unpaid wages at a local ceramic plant.

The ringleaders are under investigation, according to statements made by the Zhongshan police.

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