82 years old Xu Xianglan sits on stone in front of her severely damaged house, weeping helplessly, in Luozhuang Village, Luanchuan Town, Luanchuan County, Henan Province, October 31, 2012. The forced demolition of her house was conducted by about 80 thugs at mid night of October 21.
At the mid night of October 21, 2012, about 80 thugs stormed into the villagers' homes in Henan, drag them out of the bed, then demolished their houses with bulldozers. So far not any company or government has claimed responsibily.
The forcefully demolished houses in Luozhuang Village, Luanchuan County, Henan Province became a short-time headline in Chinese internet media. According to the telling account of the villagers whose houses were destroyed, at the mid night of October 21, 2012, about 80 thugs unanimously wearing white gloves, military-style camouflage uniform, stormed into their home, dragged them out of the bed, who were still in sleep and wore only underwears, after demolishing the nail houses with powerful bulldozers, the thugs strode away without looking back, leaving the helpless villagers weeping, crying, shouting in the cold wind.
Without home, the villagers have to lodge in temporarily erected tents along the road. And to protect their half destroyed houses from further sudden forced demolition, they take turns to be on guard duty in the night with campfire burning outside their temporary shelters.
Culprit of the forced demolition is still at large
So far, not any company or organization have claimed responsibility. Although all the villagers believe the culprit is the real estate developer who has long coveted the land of the villagers but refused to offer enough compensation required by the land owners and they have called the police, the Luanchuan county government merely said "they were still investigating the incident".
After pictures of the destroyed houses of the villagers spread online, most of Chinese netizens think that the local government is the real perpetrator who has great benifit and interest in the property company.
Since forced demolition and violent land seizure of citizens' properties is an epidemic problem of China and prime causes of protests and unrest in China, such kind of incidents happen almost every year, every month, in every province, every city of China. Except for a few successful struggle of the house owners, most of the forced demolition end up in little compensation for the house owners, minor punishment of the perpetrators, or left completely unsettled. And Chinese seem to have been used to it and do not think it is news anymore. The forced-demolition-in-the-night incident remains headline only for a few hours in some news websites and then is pushed to a corner, possibly partly due to the requirement of a harmonious atmosphere at a time when the once-in-a-decade power transition is imminent in a week at the important 18th Congress of CCP.