The statement, posted on Saturday, said truck driver Li Youliang drove around a man standing in the road, later confirmed to be Zorigt. The herder, it said, sped after the truck on a motorcycle and tried to overtake it, but collided with it and was seriously injured, dying later in hospital.
The truck driver was taken into custody, the government said.
The rights group said the government had been putting messages on Internet chatrooms urging people to disregard rumors about what it said was a simple traffic accident.
“Some people who have hidden intentions are interpreting it as an ethnic problem or a conflict with the oil and natural gas development. The government of Uushin Banner is taking the case extremely seriously,” it quoted one message as saying.
In August, China executed a coal truck driver who set off protests in May when he ran over and killed a protesting herder. See also previous coverage, via CDT, of protests in Inner Mongolia and the rapid yet eerie development of China’s northern frontier.