Mekong Delta residents take off clothes to protest land eviction

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Authorities in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho are investigating a case in which security guards forcefully dragged away a mother and her daughter who took off their clothes to protest their family's eviction.

Mai Hong Chau, chairman of Cai Rang District People's Committee, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper Monday (May 28) the district had asked the No.8 Investment and Construction Joint Stock Company (CIC8) to write a report on the incident.

The company was reprimanded for taking action against the unclothed women, Chau said.

On May 22, Pham Thi Lai, 52, and her daughter Ho Nguyen Thuy, 33, took off their clothes after seeing the company's site clearance trucks drive onto the land plot belonging to their family in Hung Thanh Ward, Cai Rang District.

Around noon, a group of security guards used force to drag the two naked women off their land; the women resisted fiercely.

Some nearby residents who witnessed the scene took pictures, sending them to several online newspapers.

According to local authorities, the land plot belonging to Lai and her 58-year-old husband, Ho Van Tu, was revoked by the local government when the Hung Phu housing project was awarded to CIC8.

The family, however, did not agree to the compensation fee the company offered.

Lai told an online website the company said it would pay her family VND500,000 per square meter of land and did not agree to provide them with a resettlement house.

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Meanwhile, the company is advertising it intends to sell the same land for VND5 million per square meter, she said.

The company and the family had previously met twice to seek an agreement but were unsuccessful.

The Hung Phu housing project has been one year behind schedule since the site clearance activities were delayed due to the family's opposition.

Six months ago, Tu (the husband) protested the eviction by drinking pesticide in front of the land eviction forces. He survived.

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