Henan villagers 'beaten up by hundreds of rail workers' over land dispute

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 April, 2013, 11:08am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 April, 2013, 12:15pm

Villagers in central China’s Henan province who were protesting a land grab in Huangchuan county said they were beaten up by hundreds of employees from the China Railway 13th Bureau at the weekend.

The villagers were demonstrating against the bureau, which planned to build a new railway line. They said they were “indiscriminately” attacked on Sunday morning by more than 300 uniformed construction workers with metre-long sticks, news portal Dahe.cn reported on Monday.

The protesters said the attackers spoke in northeastern Chinese accents and destroyed 30 mobile phones of those who had tried to film the incident. A villager's car was also smashed up.

Police were called in but were “forced to turn back” by the 300 workers, the report said.

More than 10 people were injured and two were still in hospital on Monday.

The land dispute arose after villagers tried to prevent the bureau from acquiring the land for a new line for the Nanjing-Xian Railway. Villagers said the compensation offered to them was too low.

The China Railway 13th Bureau is a large state-owned construction enterprise and subsidiary of the China Railway Construction Corporation. Prior to 1948, it was part of the People’s Liberation Army Railway Corps No 3 Division.