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Villagers rally against Yunnan land expropriation

Global Times (2013-10-25 P05)
By Global Times
The local government of Jinning county, Yunnan Province, has promised not to expropriate land in Guangji village after more than 200 villagers gathered Tuesday and damaged nearly 30 government vehicles over a land acquisition dispute, according to the Beijing Times.

The newspaper quoted a villager who claimed he had the fingerprints of the county government officials, including that of Party secretary Cai Desheng, on paper, and that the letter promised that the government would not seize the land.

A notice issued Wednesday said the local police bureau had summoned two people suspected of illegal detention and intentional injury, which caused the villagers to gather and blockade 11 civil servants and three vehicles on Tuesday afternoon.

Hundreds of police were later sent to the site, but all were besieged by villagers. Twenty-six policemen and one auxiliary police officer were injured during the siege, with one of them still hospitalized in serious condition. 

The land expropriation in Guangji village was to build a cultural tourism project which the Yunnan provincial government has heavily invested in.

But villagers there are not willing to make the deal, saying the procedures used for the land expropriation were not properly followed and the compensation was too low, the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post reported.  

The two suspects, Wang Chunyun and his father, were the representatives of the villagers and were the first family to draw attention to the land acquisition.

"A village head reported me to the police, accusing me hitting him, but that's not true. It was only because he fully supported the sale of our land, which was not recognized by us," Wang told the Beijing Times.

Villagers said the Tuesday dispute was caused by the police, who hit the villagers first. Four villagers were seriously injured and more than 10 others suffered minor injuries, the Oriental Morning Post reported.

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