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22 Arrested For Picketing Against Chinese   
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FEAR and anguish have gripped chiefs and people of Sefwi, Mafia, a farming community in Sefwi Juaboso District of the Western Region, following the arrest of 22 opinion leaders by soldiers and police officers.

The incident, Today learnt, occurred at 2:00 a.m., dawn yesterday.

The soldiers and police officers, according to residents, beat them up including innocent students, for picketing against illegal Chinese miners operating in the area.

Information available to Today showed that the police officers fired gunshots which wounded several of them. The situation led to some of the wounded being admitted in various health facilities in the district.

According to reports, many of the inhabitants of the town had to flee into the bush, immediately they saw military vehicles on the streets.

The sources said the security officers were deployed to the town through the influence of the illegal Chinese miners.

They indicated that the Chinese used the soldiers and police officers to intimidate the residents who refused to give out their farms to the illegal miners.

The security men, the reports indicated, fired several gunshots and chased some of the young men into the bush, leaving only school children in the town.

The women were not left out as they also received their share of the beating.

Speaking in an interview with Today, some inhabitants who spoke on condition anonymity said that the arrest of the opinion leaders came after the farmers in the community clashed with some Chinese illegal miners, a couple of weeks ago, when they prevented them from destroying their cocoa farmers.

That clash, Today was informed, led to the burning of one excavator belonging to the Chinese miners.

The residents accused the police at Sefwi Asawinso District Police Command and some military men of conniving with these Chinese illegal miners to abuse them with no reason.

To this end, the distraught residents called on the acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. David Asante-Apeatu, and the Military High Command to take disciplinary measures against the military and the police who were hired by Chinese to attack them.

Source: Today

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