Shocked residents of a remote Sheung Shui village returned to their homes on Tuesday to salvage their belongings after their squatter huts were unexpectedly bulldozed by an unidentified group on Monday morning. They wanted answers from government officials on who was responsible for the act and said they would try to rebuild on the sites, despite fears of demolition happening again in the future. The village lies in Kwu Tung North, which was selected by the government for new town development in the New Territories. According to villagers’ accounts, construction vehicles tore down the single-storey squatter homes within minutes before 8 am on Monday morning, without any prior notice. The buildings were home to at least 10 residents from two households. The families claimed to have lived at the site for several decades. Some witnesses tried to stop the bulldozer drivers, but they did not respond. The operators left the site soon after the job was done. No one was injured. Residents pointed the finger at Team Glory Development, a subsidiary of Henderson Land Development. They alleged the demolition was a move by the subsidiary to clear the site for development. A female resident, Lau Chau-pik, who had two huts destroyed, said she had received a lawyer’s letter from Team Glory claiming that part of the site belonged to the firm and asking the squatters to move. “How could you tear down the houses that we were living in like this? We could have sat down and talked. Why adopt such dirty tricks?” Lau asked. Lau added the villagers had been fighting an on-and-off legal battle with Team Glory on adverse possession since the 1990s. Another affected resident, Wong Man-fa, 65, said: “My father settled here in the 1950s, joined by my grandfather and me from the mainland in the 1960s – three generations of painstaking work all gone in just a few minutes.” Meeting representatives from the Home Affairs Bureau and the Social Welfare Department on Tuesday, Wong said: “I hope I can rebuild my home on the site.” A Henderson spokeswoman initially stressed on Tuesday that the site where the squatters were located did not belong to the company, and that both Henderson and Team Glory had nothing to do with the case. However, the same spokeswoman later confirmed that its subsidiary owned “small parts” of the land on which Wong’s squatter hut was built. She said the hut was built across two plots of land. One was under the ownership of Henderson’s subsidiary, but not the other one. The company was in negotiation with Wong about compensation so it could carry out a land exchange application, she said. The spokeswoman said Henderson would contact the police on Wednesday, adding that the company had no involvement in the demolition and that it was also a victim of what had happened. She also said the company “would not do something like that and it would not agree with such acts”. She added the company had no ongoing legal disputes with the villagers. READ MORE: Henderson Land likely first to settle land premium under pilot arbitration scheme Police cordoned off the area where the squatter huts used to stand on Po Lau Road. An officer was seen patrolling around the perimeter of the site, which was about the size of a small soccer field. The huts were smashed beyond recognition. What remained were large piles of metal sheeting and wood. Yellow construction vehicles, suspected to have been involved in the demolition, were found not far from the site, hidden among trees. “Our photos and many of our identification documents are still inside,” said Wong’s older brother, 70-year-old Wong Sing-mu. “I just hope it doesn’t rain,” he said. The elder Wong, who had lived in one of the huts since 1963, moved out in the 1980s but regularly returned to see his brother. “My brother was stunned. He had just gone out to have breakfast, and he got a call from his neighbours saying his house was no more,” said the elder Wong. “I can’t believe this could happen in Hong Kong. What if there were people still inside the huts at the time?” he added. Police are treating the case as criminal damage. No one has been arrested.