Po­lice pledge thor­ough probe in stu­dent’s death

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By HE SHUSI, SHADOW LI and PAMELA LIN in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Po­lice Force pledged on Fri­day to spare no ef­fort in its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the death of a Hong Kong Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy stu­dent — an in­ci­dent that has raised pub­lic at­ten­tion.

Po­lice also ex­pressed great sor­row and sad­ness over the stu­dent’s death and of­fered deep con­do­lences to the fam­ily and friends of the de­ceased.

In the early hours of Mon­day, Chow Tsz-lok, 22, fell from the third floor of a park­ing garage in Tse­ung Kwan O to its sec­ond floor. He died at about 8 am on Fri­day.

Ac­cord­ing to Queen El­iz­a­beth Hos­pi­tal, which con­firmed the stu­dent’s death, Chow suf­fered a se­vere brain in­jury in the fall.

The po­lice vowed to con­duct a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the death at a news brief­ing on Fri­day. The case is un­der the ju­ris­dic­tion of the Kowloon East re­gional crime unit. The force rec­om­mended a death in­quest and pledged all in­for­ma­tion about Chow’s death will be heard in an open court.

In re­fut­ing ru­mors cir­cu­lat­ing on the in­ter­net about the death, Foo Yat-ting, se­nior su­per­in­ten­dent of the Hong Kong Po­lice Force’s Kowloon East Re­gion, said po­lice never chased or pushed Chow in the She­ung Tak struc­ture where the tragic fall took place.

It was only af­ter of­fi­cers have ar­rived at the sec­ond floor of the park­ing struc­ture, where fire ser­vice of­fi­cers were giv­ing first aid to Chow, that the sit­u­a­tion came to their knowl­edge, she added.

Ewing Wu Ka-yan, su­per­in­ten­dent of the Po­lice (Op­er­a­tions) Crime Kowloon East Re­gional Po­lice Head­quar­ters, said that no plain­clothes of­fi­cers had been dis­patched to the Tse­ung Kwan O dis­trict on Sun­day night.

Aware of the on­line calls for protest over Chow’s death, the po­lice ap­pealed to the pub­lic to stay calm and ra­tio­nal to avoid chaos or sim­i­lar tragedy.

The po­lice called on the pub­lic to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion per­ti­nent to the case to help po­lice un­cover the truth as it set out to “stead­fastly in­ves­ti­gate the in­ci­dent with fair­ness and jus­tice”.

The in­ci­dent has raised much con­cern in a city that has been bat­tered by five months of riots. On Fri­day, a gov­ern­ment spokesman ex­pressed great sor­row and regret over the death of the stu­dent and ex­tended his sym­pa­thy to his fam­ily.

The HKUST also ex­pressed deep sad­ness over the death of the stu­dent and ex­tended sym­pa­thies to

the fam­ily, while call­ing on students to re­main calm and ex­er­cise re­straint at this sad time to avoid fur­ther con­flicts and tragedies.

Pres­i­dent Wei Shyy sus­pended the morn­ing ses­sion of the grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony for one minute to mourn Chow. With the cam­pus tense and as a mark of re­spect to the de­ceased stu­dent, the HKUST can­celed the fol­low­ing sched­uled grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony and sus­pended classes in the af­ter­noon.

Later in the af­ter­noon, in an email to the whole school, Shyy de­manded a thor­ough and in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the death of Chow. He said the school has es­tab­lished a por­tal for peo­ple to sub­mit re­lated ev­i­dence. Shyy also called on ev­ery­one to stay calm.

How­ever, at the same time, masked pro­test­ers clad in black flooded the HKUST cam­pus. Af­ter 2 pm, they started de­fac­ing struc­tures and went on a spree of van­dal­ism across the school cam­pus. The HKUST pres­i­dent’s res­i­dence, plus Star­bucks out­lets, Bank of China branches and other fa­cil­i­ties bore the brunt of their ire.

Jay Wang, 24, a PhD can­di­date at the univer­sity’s School of Sci­ence, said he mourned Chow’s death.

Wang didn’t know the de­ceased stu­dent per­son­ally but joined the pres­i­dent to mourn Chow when the grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony opened in the morn­ing.

Wang wor­ried that Chow’s death might add to cur­rent ten­sions and said he hopes students on cam­pus will stay safe. He con­demned some rad­i­cals and students who chose to ex­ploit the tragedy for political gain.

Wang re­sented how they used Chow’s death to spread ru­mors and un­leashed vi­o­lence against the school and the gov­ern­ment. “Is this re­ally the way to cham­pion hu­man rights?” he asked.

A pro­fes­sor at the HKUST who re­quired anonymity for safety con­cerns said that ac­cord­ing to his knowl­edge of the mat­ter, Chow’s par­ents said they hoped the pub­lic would re­spect their pri­vacy, and hoped the me­dia and students would not ex­ploit him as a “political vic­tim”.

The pro­fes­sor strongly con­demned students who van­dal­ized the cam­pus. He said that, to some de­gree, this shows the fail­ure of Hong Kong’s ed­u­ca­tion.

“It’s un­for­tu­nate that the HKUST has be­come what it is to­day,” the pro­fes­sor said. He called on all ed­u­ca­tors to re­flect on what has led Hong Kong to to­day’s chaos.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.