Riot police fight back Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstrators

By: Press Trust of India | Hong Kong | Updated: October 5, 2014 1:10 pm
HK-4 A student protester rests next to a defaced cut-out of Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying at one of their protest sites around the government headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, in Hong Kong. (Source: AP)

Fresh clashes broke out at Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests early today with riot police using batons and pepper spray to fight back demonstrators, as student leaders reopened the door to talks with the government.

READ: Protesters rally to defy street attacks, threats from govt 

With the protest movement entering its seventh night, tens of thousands of Hong Kongers gathered for a peace rally in the downtown Admiralty district near the government headquarters chanting “Peace! Anti-violence!” and singing democracy anthems.

HK-3 A religious group prays for peace in the pro-democracy protest site near the government compound, Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014 in Hong Kong. (Source: AP)

But across the harbour in the city’s densely packed Mong Kok district tensions flared anew, as crowds of baying protesters surrounded police, accusing them of cooperating with gangsters, according to AFP reporters at the scene. Police responded with pepper spray.

READ: Hong Kong police arrest 19 in protest clash

Pro-democracy protesters have taken to Hong Kong’s streets all week to demand the right to nominate who can run as their next leader in 2017 elections. Beijing insists only candidates it has approved will be able to stand. Student leaders said early today that they would meet the government if certain conditions were met, having scrapped planned negotiations the previous day over anger at police actions in earlier clashes.

HK-2 Pro-democracy student protesters stage a rally on a occupied road in Mongkok district, Hong Kong, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. (Source: AP)

In Mong Kok, a working-class district of shops and residences that was also the site of ugly scenes Friday, furious protesters claimed anti-democracy agitators from the city’s triad mobs were being arrested — only to be released back into the crowds again. “The police have been cooperating with gangsters,” said David Chan, a 22-year-old student.

“We have witnessed the police letting go of the gangsters. That’s why the peaceful protesters are so angry, We have no trust in them any more.” Hong Kong’s main student union, HKFS, said in a statement: “The government should investigate why the police were so lax in enforcement, accusations of helping criminals and to give an explanation to the public as soon as possible.”

A student protester rests next to a defaced cut-out of Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying at one of their protest sites around the government headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, in Hong Kong. (source: AP) Pro-democracy protesters stage a rally on a occupied road in Mong Kok district, Hong Kong, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. (Source: AP)

It came after two of the city’s busiest shopping districts descended into chaos on Friday as opponents, some of them waving Chinese flags, clashed with protesters, tearing down their tents and barricades. The incidents led to accusations that the police failed to protect the demonstrators from the opposing crowds and speculation authorities had hired paid thugs to break up the protests.

“As long as the government responds to the above, the students are willing to talk again,” the HKFS said.

For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App

  1. No Comments.