No graveyard in our backyard: public tells detained official

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Thousands of people in Hanoi on Friday detained a local official to protest the establishment of a graveyard in their locality.


The incident took place at around 8 a.m. when Vuong Van But, deputy chief of secretary of Soc Son District's Communist Party, and several officials came to meet with authorities of Minh Phu Commune to discuss the construction of the Thien Duong graveyard.


Many locals gathered at the place and dragged But and a few other officials into two rooms of the headquarters of the Minh Phu People's Committee.


They asked But to sign a report on an altercation between police officers and children that had left four of the children injured, the Phap Luat TPHCM (Ho Chi Minh City Law) newspaper quoted local people as saying.


Locals also asked But to stop construction of the graveyard in the commune, saying that it would critically affect local water sources.


As of 10 p.m., But was still detained, while other officials were released when they showed signs of exhaustion.


Police forces, meanwhile, were mobilized to the site to deal with thousands of people who'd surrounded the headquarters.


A Soc Son police official told Thanh Nien that the two parties held peaceful talks. The detained official promised to report local people's opinions and concerns to Hanoi authorities.


The Thien Duong graveyard project was approved by Hanoi's People's Committee in January.


It is planned cover 100 hectares and apply burial methods causing no effects to the environment, according to investor Hoa Sen Investment Joint-stock Company.


The project's first stage, with the investment of some VND300 billion (US$15.4 million), was expected to be completed in the third quarter of next year.


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