Officials turned out the lights on a village 2.5 years ago after a dispute with a farmer. With no power, businesses shut and residents were forced out, in a case reported by official media as an example of abuse of power by government officials. In 1998, a row between a farmer in Leibei village, Shanxi, and a local power supply bureau official escalated into a fist fight, the Guangming Daily said. The bureau then decided to 'teach the ignorant villagers a lesson'. It cut off electricity on July 12, 1998, turning the village into a ghost town. The village party secretary begged the bureau 11 times for leniency, but to no avail. Called Electricity Tigers, power supply departments are one of the most powerful government agencies, as they control a critical element of the economy and everyday life. The villagers of Leibei forked out 6,600 yuan (HK$6,350), which they were told they owed the bureau. But power was still not restored, as the officials demanded the villager pay for the electricity of two stone manufacturing plants owned by the bureau. The farmers refused.