BEIJING (AFP) — About 100 police employees damaged government property in a highly unusual protest in China over inadequate pay, a human rights group said on Wednesday.
The three-hour protest occurred Tuesday in the city of Leiyang in the central province of Hunan, the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said in a statement.
At one point, the demonstrators damaged chairs and other property at the local Communist Party headquarters, it said.
The majority of the protesters were auxiliary police, civilians hired to back up regular police officers and patrol work but who do not have full police powers, it said.
However, some full-time police officers were also among the crowds, the statement said.
Citing witnesses, the group said the protesters surrounded the building around 11am.
They complained about low salaries and allowances, it added.
The incomes of vast numbers of Chinese consumers have been squeezed in the past couple of years by runaway inflation that has only recently tapered off.
The protest lasted about three hours, ending when party officials urged the demonstrators to disperse.
Calls by AFP to Leiyang police and government headquarters went unanswered on Wednesday.
China sees tens of thousands of public protests each year by members of society who have been marginalised or left behind in the country's economic boom.
However, such protests are typically quelled by police, not initiated by them.
The Hong Kong-based group said local officials in Leiyang were in "urgent" meetings on Wednesday over the incident.
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