Forced demolition of couple's home probed
Updated: 2014-08-13 07:40
By Qi Xin in Zhengzhou (China Daily)
Zhang Hongwei and his wife cry among the ruins of their demolished house on Saturday in Xinzheng, Henan province. Si Xiangdong / For China Daily
The government of Xinzheng city, Henan province, has confirmed a recent forced eviction and house demolition and promised to investigate further and punish those responsible, China Daily learned on Tuesday.
The residents of a house next to State Road 107 in the city's Longhu township were forcibly evicted early on Friday morning, according to the city government. Police were dispatched to the scene.
"At present, a joint investigation team sent by the city's Party committee and the government is investigating and will see that those responsible are punished in accordance with the law after the investigation is completed," the government said.
Investigators have not yet determined who was responsible.
The house owner, named Zhang Hongwei, built the four-story house on 420 square meters in 2008 without approval from the authority, according to city government sources.
On April 12, 2012, some 100 houses including Zhang's along State Road 107 had to be demolished for a road project, and only Zhang objected.
In January 2014, Zhang was told of the need to demolish his house for a subway construction project, but he still refused in an attempt to obtain more compensation, the government sources said.
Zhang, 40, said he and his wife were awakened and driven out of their house in the early morning of Aug 8, and they were taken by car to a cemetery some kilometers away.
"We were detained there by some young people for four hours and our house had been torn down when we went back in the morning," Zhang said.
Zhang said the four-story house cost nearly 500,000 yuan ($81,200) to build, but the people who talked to him about its demolition told him the standard compensation was only 690 yuan per square meter, which he considered too low.
Zhang said the price of commercial houses in Longhu township is about 5,000 yuan per square meter and he wanted the compensation to be comparable with that value.
The government announcement said the city government had required the township government to further consult and communicate with Zhang in order to better understand his demands and properly deal with the case.
Ma Lie contributed to this story.