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Police detain 24 protesters opposed to incinerator

Updated: 2014-09-15 06:53
By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou (China Daily)

Police in Boluo county, Guangdong province, detained 24 people suspected of violations of laws during a protest on Saturday against the construction of a garbage incinerating plant.

According to a statement from the county bureau of public security on Saturday, police would deal leniently with those who surrender themselves and inform against other lawbreakers within three days.

By Sunday, 24 people had been detained and eight were later released after being reprimanded.

"The protest was organized by a handful of lawless people and participated in by people who did not know the truth," the statement said.

Some of the protesters violated laws, regulations and rules when they disturbed social order and caused heavy traffic jams during the protest, police said.

Police urged locals to abide by laws and regulations while expressing their requests to government departments and not to believe or spread rumors.

Local residents should not be used by a small handful of people who have ulterior motives, the police statement said.

According to sources with the Huizhou city bureau of housing and urban construction, the local government is still soliciting public opinion on whether to construct the proposed garbage incinerating plant.

"The relevant government departments have not yet chosen a site to start construction of the project," authorities said.

Boluo is under the administration of Huizhou city in the eastern part of the prosperous Pearl River Delta, which borders the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.

The protest began in the busy Cultural Square of Luoyang, Boluo county, at about 9 am on Saturday when more than 1,000 residents rallied to protest construction of the plant in the county's Longtandi township.

The protesters held red banners and horizontal scrolls and shouted slogans protesting construction of the project.

"We fear construction of a garbage incinerating plant will damage the environment and harm people's health," a protester, surnamed Chen, was quoted as saying by local media.

"The relevant departments should organize a public hearing to seek public opinion before they choose a site to start construction of such a project," Chen said.

Many police officers, government officials and police cars were immediately sent to the scene to help maintain social order and mediate the case.

The protest was dispersed at about 11:30 am after efforts by government departments to calm the protesters.

No injuries were reported.


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