Guangxi land deal protest turns violent


October 15 2010
Violence erupted between villagers and police officers during a protest against a government plan to acquire land currently owned by residents in Cangwu county, South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Six villagers were detained.

Guangdong-based Southern Metropolis Daily reported yesterday that the fights occurred Wednesday as the villagers staged a protest against the land acquisition deal.

The local government said in a statement that 300 villagers gathered to show their opposition to a proposal to purchase their land. Police officers went to the scene to restore order.

The notice said the villagers damaged police cars and injured several officers.

One eyewitness was quoted as saying that a policeman’s eyeball was punched out and two dogs were beaten to death.

The report said six villagers were injured during the fight.

The local government said the land acquired would be used to store soil from a hydropower project. But the villagers said the land is slated to become a tourist attraction and used for other real estate projects.

A villager told Beijing News that the government is trying to acquire more than 600 mu of land (40 hectares) for just 41,000 yuan ($5,284) per mu. The villagers said they have not received payment yet.

Wang Cailiang, a lawyer on demolition litigations in Beijing, told the Global Times that it is illegal for the government to acquire land before compensation and replacement accommodation are provided.

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