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Two Uzbek Policemen Injured In Clashes With Residents Over Pending Demolition Of Their Homes

Village residents in Uzbekistan clashed with police on February 14 after they were told their homes would be demolished.

Clashes between Uzbek police and residents of a village some 650 kilometers southwest of the capital, Tashkent, erupted and left three people injured on February 14, including two police officers, after local inhabitants were told their homes would be demolished.

Eyewitnesses told RFE/RL that the incident started on February 14 when a group consisting of members of the district administration, prosecutors, and Interior Ministry officials came to the village of Xalqobod in the Altynsai district of the Surkhondaryo region.

Certain residents were told their homes were built illegally on territory designated as farmland after which an angry crowd began to gather at a local farming homestead.

When the police tried to calm and reason with the local residents after telling them their homes would be torn down, some angry villagers attacked the officers with sticks, axes, and shovels, according to the news service of the regional police.

Video of the incident posted on social media showed what appeared to be police hitting unarmed residents and dragging them on the ground with one person bleeding from the face.

The conflict subsided at around 4 p.m. local time after a special police unit arrived on the scene and told the residents to disperse and retreat to their homes.

Six residents were arrested and one villager was slightly injured, as well as two police officers.

No homes were demolished.

In a February 16 statement, the Prosecutor-General’s Office blamed the incident on families who opposed the demolition of the "illegally-built homes."

Six local residents have allegedly occupied 0.39 hectares of irrigated, agricultural land and built brick homes encompassing an area of 235.5 square meters, the statement said.

They were given notice to demolish their homes within two days from February 8.

Police didn’t provide an update on the fate of the six arrested individuals.