Land compensation row sparks protest

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 June, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 June, 2000, 12:00am

Demonstrators yesterday blocked traffic in Luoyang city in Henan province to protest against the Government's takeover of their land.

A Luoyang resident said traffic was affected early in the day when protesters blocked traffic in Donghuata district. 'I heard people were not happy that the Government was going to confiscate their land to build a road. Commuters had a problem getting into town this morning,' the resident said.

She could not confirm if the protesters were Muslims, as reported by an overseas Chinese news Web site. yesterday claimed that more than 1,000 Muslims staged a sit-in in Luoyang over compensation disputes. The report said demonstrators were unhappy about the compensation paid by the Government, which wanted to build a road over land belonging to a mosque. It claimed the Muslims were not compensated as promised because the money had been siphoned off by officials.

Police in Luoyang declined to confirm that the protest had taken place.

Meanwhile, a top security official in Beijing yesterday urged cadres at all levels to do their utmost in handling social conflicts. Luo Gan, head of the Politics and Law Committee under the Communist Party's Central Committee, was quoted by Xinhua as saying that local leaders must give the maintenance of social stability top priority and play an active role in resolving local disputes.