Hai Phong suspends district head, officials in controversial land seizure

The Party Committee of Hai Phong has suspended from position the head and many other officials of the Tien Lang District administration who were involved in a land revoking case in the northern port city that drove farmers to shoot at six policemen and soldiers early January.

Le Van Hien, the district’s deputy Party chief and People’s Committee chairman, who ordered the January 5 controversial land revocation, has been suspended from his position, Hai Phong Party chief Nguyen Van Thanh told a press conference in the city Tuesday.

Hai Phong City’s Party chief Nguyen Van Thanh gives a press conference in the northern port city (Photo: SGGP)

Vice chairman of the district People’s Committee Nguyen Van Khanh has also been suspended.

The case took place in Vinh Quang Commune on Jan. 5. A man named Doan Van Vuon and his family members used handmade guns and mines to fight against police officers and soldiers who came to their house and farm to force them to hand over the land.

Hai Phong’s Party chief Thanh said at the press conference that the other officials who took responsibility were district police chief Le Van Mai, Vinh Quang Commune’s Party chief Pham Dang Hoan and commune People’s Committee chairman Le Thanh Liem.

The Hai Phong Party leader said initial investigations showed that district authorities failed to meet the regulations on compensation, support, and land revocation as stipulated by the Land Law.

He added the case took place when the Lunar New Year was coming and this caused reactions from the public on Vietnamese traditions and the relationship between the district administration and locals.

During Tuesday’s press conference, he also admitted the Hai Phong City government’s responsibility for letting the problem happen.

After the land seizure, farmer Vuon’s house was destroyed.

The ruins of farmer Doan Van Vuon’s house (File)

Hai Phong Party leader Thanh said at the press conference that he assigned city police to investigate the house destruction.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung ordered the Hai Phong administration to make a full report of the case to the PM after investigation.

In a related development, Hai Phong Police said late Tuesday that they had identified the driver of the front-end loader that destroyed Vuon’s house.

Hai Phong Police’s investigators have also questioned some men involved in destroying his house, including Vu Van Ket, born in 1972, Vu Van Doan, born in 1968, and Dang Van Tai, born in 1987. All the three men are Tien Lang residents.

Also Tuesday, Hai Phong Police worked with district People’s Committee chairman Le Van Hien, district People’s Committee deputy chairman Nguyen Van Khanh, commune Party chief Pham Dang Hoan, commune People’s Committee chairman Le Thanh Liem on the fact that Vuon’s house was destroyed and fish in his pond have been lost.

By staff reporters, translated by Tuong Thuy

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