A group of at least 10 Tibetan nomads have been taken away by police in China's Sichuan province after protesting against what they say was an illegal land grab.
The protest took place Wednesday around 11am local time in Chengdu outside the Jin Jiang hotel, where local officials were attending a provincial Communist Party meeting.
The Tibetans are seen holding banners that call on authorities to resolve their complaint and return land they say was taken from them. Within minutes of starting their protest, about 50 police arrived and took them away.
A source close to the protesters, who did not want to be named, told VOA's Tibetan service that the dispute goes back several years. “Five years ago the government said the nomadic land and the houses where they lived is going to used for real estate development," he said. "Therefore the nomadic houses were demolished. Throughout the years and months, appeals to the local government never had any response.” He added that that the detained Tibetans are from Thangkor Township (Chinese:Tangke Xiang), Dzoge County located in a Tibetan region of Sichuan Province, and their current situation is unknown.
Chinese officials have not commented on the incident. The issue of illegal land grabs by local officials and connected businesses is a frequent subject of local protests in China.
Sichuan, which has a sizable Tibetan minority, is the province where the largest number of Tibetans have protested with self-immolations since 2009.