Authorities in the southeastern province of Fujian leveled nearly one thousand ancestral graves, severely injuring a woman in the process.
By Lin Yijiang
In a new low for the Communist Party, authorities in Fujian recently clamped down on a burial site, which is located at the Niushan Mountain, next to the Changle International Airport serving the province’s capital Fuzhou.
In a bid to beautify surroundings near the airport, the graves were not only excavated but leveled as well. It all started in mid-September when the villagers nearby received a notice to dig up the graves and remove the tombs buried at the site.
Ancestral graves are important for the Chinese since they are associated with filial respect and reverence for one’s elders. For this reason, the graves are looked after meticulously. Even a blade of grass should not be plucked as it can have a bearing upon the fortunes and feng shui of the family of the deceased.
The locals felt that to obey the notice would be extremely disrespectful to the deceased and their families. They refused to oblige and made repeated visits to the village’s Party committee, where they would try to reason with the officials.
However, the village chief was helpless too. “Officials saw the graves while aboard an airplane and said it affected the area’s appearance,” he said. “So, they demanded that the graves on the mountain be dug up. This is an order from above. I cannot do anything.”
A month later, the local authorities dispatched public security officers and armed police to the mountain. They came armed with electric batons and tools for the excavation. Some villagers stood on the top of the graves to block the work, but they were forcibly pushed aside.
Li Yu (pseudonym), one of the villagers, pleaded with the officers to allow her to see her father’s grave for one last time. She was given a few minutes, and the excavator got to work on her father’s grave again. In the process, a large rock fell on her right foot and broke it. Blood gushed out from her foot, and when she and her relatives cried for help, none of the few dozen officers on site came to help her.
The diggings continued for several days, and by the end of it, authorities had their way: the villagers were forced to take away the excavated remains of the deceased.
Still grieving the loss of the burial site, a local resident said, “It is our parents who gave us life and raised us. Now we can’t even protect the ashes of our ancestors. How can I let them down like this?”
Another villager said, “When the deceased are laid to rest, it brings comfort to the souls of the living. It is utterly heartless to dig up ancestral graves.” An elderly man added that it was a taboo to dig up graves, “Only the CCP is capable of such barbaric law enforcement.”
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