Several houses in Kwu Tung village, Sheung Shui were suddenly demolished on Monday morning, rendering families homeless. The police found three bulldozers at the scene, but there was no trace of its operator.
Kwu Tung North Development Concern Group’s Lee Siu-wah told Stand News that at least seven huts were bulldozed without warning. The land measured around 300,000 feet and was home to six different families. One of the affected villagers, Wong, had been living around Po Lau Road with his father since the 1960s; they occupied around 20,000 feet of land. The destruction of his property resulted in a losses of around hundreds of thousands of dollars, Wong estimated.
At around 7am on Monday, Wong received a call from other villagers informing him that three bulldozers had taken down his hut and warehouse. By the time he arrived, the land was leveled and the area reduced to ruins. Wong called the police and sought help from a district councillor, and is temporarily staying with relatives, Ming Pao reported.
Mrs Lau, another villager whose house had been demolished, told Apple Daily that she had lived there for thirty years. Lau said, previously, developers informed them that they wanted to take over the land, but no consensus was reached. “I don’t know how the police are going to handle the matter… I might have to sleep on the streets,” she said.
Member of activist group Land Justice League Au Kwok-kuen said the villagers and a development company under Henderson Land Development Company were involved in an adverse possession lawsuit in 1994. Proceedings commenced again last year, but the group denied having anything to do with the incident. A land search showed that the land was owned by Wise Treasure Development Corp, but no details of its shareholders could be found, Apple Daily reported.
Civic Party legislator Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu, who is following up on the case after a request for help, said that many different interests are involved in the Northeast New Territories development project. He said that it could be that someone demolished the houses to get rid of the residences without having to pay compensation. Kwu Tung village falls within the area covered under the government’s controversial development plan.
The case has been listed as criminal damage and handed over to the border district police’s criminal investigation unit.