Chinese couple dragged into street at knifepoint as 100-strong gang with excavators demolish home

  • Husband and wife held against their will; son clashes with gang members
  • Couple held out against plan to knock down homes of 60 families in village
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 November, 2018, 8:56pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 November, 2018, 10:40pm

Police in northwest China are investigating after a gang of men wielding sticks and knives threw an elderly couple out of their home in an early morning raid and detained them against their will while their house was demolished, local media reports said.

Li Xinrang – a villager in his 60s who lived in suburban Xinsi in Xian, Shaanxi province – was in dispute with the local authorities over plans to move 60 families and knock down their homes.

He told Xian police officers that he and his wife were roused at 4am on November 16 by hammering on their front door, Huashang Daily reported.

When he answered it, he was faced by group of young men armed with sticks and knives who pushed past him, the report said.

Chinese man held over ‘nail house’ compensation deal rumours

Li’s wife called her son, who lives in the same village, for help. The couple were quickly subdued by the raiders and forced outside, where 100 men were waiting.

The couple were bundled into a vehicle, as three excavators set to work, flattening their home, the report said.

Li Xiaohui, the couple’s son, and his wife arrived and clashed with members of the gang. He suffered a broken thumb that needed hospital treatment.

The elderly couple were released after the half-hour operation to destroy their home.

Elderly villager facing eviction seeks better compensation

Police investigators said it was unclear who sent the gang to rough up the family and knock down their home.

Investigations found that while most of the Xinsi families who were told to move agreed to sign deals to give up their homes, Li Xinrang held out for more money.

Li said he had suffered at the hands of a gang at the beginning of this month. Dozens of strangers who tried to evict his family and demolish his house were stopped by police.

Chinese media regularly report on “nail houses”, with some residents refusing to move from their homes to make way for development while negotiating compensation deals.