(ATF) – Public security officials arrested many people on the weekend after a protest turned into a minor riot at Hanchuan, a city an hour west of Wuhan. Police admitted later that a large crowd of people caused a ‘disturbance of public order’ in Hubei province, the center of China’s coronavirus outbreak.

The melee at Ouyada Trade City in Hanchuan, 67km west of Wuhan, ended with many people detained for breaking a public ordnance under the coronavirus epidemic provisions, while Public Security officials in Hanchuan arrested “five leading criminals who incited provocations”. They were held in custody on Sunday April 5.

The defendants were reportedly leading crowds that pulled down banners and shouted slogans – serious violations of regulations imposed under the first level of the coronavirus response – and are accused of “causing adverse social impact.”

No information given as to why the crowd were protesting in the trade city.

For the complete version of this article please go to our financial site, Asia Times Financial.