At least 200 people in Panhe village, Zhejiang Province, staged three protests early this month against the occupation of their land by the local government.
According to a Legal Daily report Wednesday, these issues in Panhe date back several years ago, when the Panhe village authorities gradually took villagers' land and sold it to 12 companies.
Since last July, Panhe villagers have elected over 20 representatives to negotiate with the government. The representatives proposed several solutions, demanding compensation and the release of two villagers who were detained by the police after they attempted to damage the property of the companies that had bought the land, villagers told the Global Times.
Though the government offered a settlement package of 16,000 yuan ($2,540) per mu (0.067 hectare) to the town for public investment and for village development, the amount for the villagers included in the offer remains undecided, according to a local official.
"The government decided the terms of settlement on their own and we do not agree with them," Lü Xiangliang, a 40-year-old Panhe villager, told the Global Times.
After half a year, the villagers have not allegedly received any money and neither of the two villagers have been released.
"The government has refused all of our requests," a villager told the Global Times.
"They ordered policemen to block our village, and beat and arrest dozens of people," he claimed.
However, a lead official of the group sent to investigate the claims, surnamed Huang, told the Global Times a different story.
According to Huang, the compensation money is already in the process of being paid, and they are now discussing distribution plans for the money.
"Fewer than 200 people have not cooperated and made our jobs difficult, but the situation has settled down," Huang said.
He also accused protesters of intending to politicize the economic demands.
The police removed the blockade and put up a notice saying that the government will pay all medical treatment fees for villagers hurt in the protests, local villagers said.