By Associated Press
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung issued the order into the high-profile case after six police and army officers were injured in the Jan. 5 incident in the northern port city of Haiphong.
State media have reported that Doan Van Vuon, 49, had long been at odds with authorities who proposed evicting him from 19 hectares (47 acres) of swamp land leased in 1993 on a 14-year contract. He had converted the area into a seafood farm.
About 100 police officers and soldiers wearing bulletproof vests and riot gear advanced to forcibly seize the land when the attack allegedly began, according to the reports. Two of them were injured when they stepped on a land mine, and the others suffered gunshot wounds.
Vuon, his two brothers and a nephew were later arrested for attempted murder. Vuon allegedly planned the attack, but he was not at the scene when the violence broke out. His relatives fled when police moved in on the house, state media said.
Vuon’s wife, Nguyen Thi Thuong, was quoted as saying the family resisted the local government’s decision to take the land because they invested all their savings into the farm. The government ordered the eviction without compensation. One of brother’s houses on the land also was flattened after the incident took place, but it’s unclear who was to blame.
The case has attracted extensive coverage in state-controlled media and Internet blogs, which have criticized the attack by the farmers but also questioned whether authorities had the right to use force to evict the family.
The incident also has stoked heated debate over whether farmers should be all
owed to extend their land leases, many of which are set to expire next year. Vietnam first introduced its land laws in 1993, granting many of the farmers 20-year leases on their fields. In Vietnam all land belongs to the state and people only have the right to use it.
Land disputes are the main source of complaints and protests in the country.