Hundreds of residents protested in Taiyuan , Shanxi province , on Thursday after three people were beaten by gangsters hired by a demolition company.
A police spokesman from the public security bureau's Yingze branch confirmed last night that the demonstration had been sparked by land disputes.
'The case has settled down and none of the people were detained,' he said, refusing to comment further.
Yesterday's Taiyuan Evening Post reported that hundreds of Kangle Estate residents had gathered outside a local market at 4pm on Thursday after three neighbours were beaten. It said the victims had been admitted to hospital.
The report said that some residents had complained about being harassed by gangsters for a long time, with the windows of some homes broken at night by young men throwing rocks. Many developers involved in local reconstruction projects have been trying to force residents to leave the estate.
'We gathered here because [the gangsters] came again today and even beat up three of us. We want police to punish the bad guys,' a woman was quoted as saying.
The report said local police sent more than 10 vehicles to the chaotic scene, where officers negotiated with the residents. The protesters dispersed at about 6pm.