2008-07-21 00:33:29 GMT 2008-07-21 08:33:29 (Beijing Time) China Daily
KUNMING: Two persons were killed in a clash at a rubber plant in Menglian county, Yunnan province, on Saturday and provincial authorities have asked police to find the cause of the violence as soon as possible.
Fifty-four people, including 41 policemen, were injured.
The secretary of the Communist Party of China's provincial committee, Bai Enpei, has told officials to listen to the aggrieved people, arrange for the treatment of the injured and console family members of the dead to prevent the situation from worsening.
Yunnan governor Qin Guangrong has dispatched a work team to the spot to help the local government better handle the situation.
After talks with the provincial public security bureau head Meng Sutie and vice-governor Cao Jianfang, rubber farmers, have gone back home.
Local sources said disputes between rubber farmers and the plant management had become common over the past few years, with some of them turning violent.
On July 15, the Menglian county government sent a work team to the plant to help settle a dispute with the farmers.
Violence erupted four days later when about 400 people stopped police from taking away some suspects for being involved in illegal activities and inflaming the conflict. This forced the policemen to fire plastic bullets, local authorities said.
Several police vehicles were damaged in the clash too.
The number of incidents, in which people have clashed with police and officials, have increased of late.
The latest in the series of such incidents took place in Zhejiang province on July 10. Hundreds of migrant workers attacked and injured three policemen after an argument over registration of a migrant as a temporary resident turned violent.