The petitioners are Li Dianxiu, Yang Jiukong and other two villagers of Bailiu Township of Xunyang county of Ankang city of Shaanxi province.
At around 16 on Nov. 12, 2012, a motorcade of deputies to people's congress of Ankang city were heading to Bailiu Town to inspect the Runnong Company. When the motorcade arrived at the Handongshizi of Bailiu Street, villagers Li Dianxiu and others that had been waiting there for the deputies came out and knelt or lied in middle of the road, crying for justice and asking for help from the deputies. Their behavior resulted in traffic jam and prevented the motorcade of deputies as well as other vehicles from moving on.
According to the official statement, the next day, after investigation into the incident, local police decided to detain Li Dianxiu and other three villagers, accusing them blocking road and disturbing normal transportation based on Public Security Aministrative Law of PRC and Petition Regulations. Li Dianxiu, Yang Jiuhong, Sun Qihuan were sentenced to 7 days in detention center, and Song Bang'e 5 days in detention. The four were sent to detention center two days later even though the four refused to sign on the sentence notification and two policemen had to sign on their behalf.
The detention of the four Shaanxi petitioners kneeling to ask for help from deputies to people's congress have drawn sharp criticism from the Chinese public as soon as the incident was exposed.
"It is modern time now, blocking road to cry for justice is obsolete!" said one netizen called 同步跟进.
"They are deputies to people's congress but they are not representing you, my poor fellow villagers!" said another netizen.
"Those have slightest sense of open-mindedness dare not ignore those subjects blocking the way to ask for justice, but these watch brothers (表哥, alluding to those officials wearing expensive watches) are used to arresting and detaining people for minor offences. They are more cruel than feudal emperors." commented a netizen from Hunan province.
Dispute over Land seizure and insufficient compensation
In face of the uproar of the public, the local government issued a statement, expressing their desire to investigate the problems and grievances the villager petitioners raised.
According to the Xunyang county office, the households of Li Dianxiu, Yang Jiuhong, Song Bang'e, Sun Qihuan as well as other villagers in Bailiu residential complex of Bailiu Town had their land seized for the provincially important Xian-Ankang Railway. And most of the villagers except the four households had agreed to the agreement drafted by the government and received the compensation.
Li Dianxiu refused to accept the 130,000 RMB of compensation for land seizure and Yang Jiuhong refuse to collect the rest 45,000 RMB. Their major demand is the government allocate one usufructuary of land in addition to the cash compensation. When the government refused their demand, the villagers kept on petitioning to higher ranking government departments.