Six villagers hurt in clash with police in Shantou

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 April, 2006, 12:00am

At least six villagers were injured in a clash in Guangdong yesterday as police demolished a sluice gate that the government said was illegal, sources and villagers said.

Three residents of Bomei village, in Shantou's Xilu township, were seriously injured, a villager said.

One was a woman who was hit in the head by a tear gas canister.

The clash erupted at about 8am yesterday when more than 1,000 police went to demolish two sluice gates the villagers built last year.

Armed with homemade weapons including petrol bombs, villagers fought to keep the police from the gates.

Sources said one villager was arrested. All the injured were sent to the Dafeng Hospital in Chaoyang , which is administered by Shantou.

The smaller of the two sluice gates was blown up by the police. The gates were believed to have affected the fung shui of a neighbouring village and had triggered disputes between the neighbours.

The city government classified the sluice gates as illegal constructions after inspections and ordered them to be demolished earlier this year, a villager said.

Another villager said the crowd dispersed before noon, but the police stayed in the village until the afternoon.

A report by Radio Free Asia quoted a villager as saying the sluice gates were the only source of irrigation in the village, with a population of more than 10,000.

The city and township governments were unavailable for comment yesterday.