An­gry dis­si­dents hit the streets as Chow Tsz Lok suc­cumbs to in­juries

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Front Page - Bloomberg let­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

HONG KONG: Pro­test­ers hit the streets of Hong Kong on Fri­day af­ter a stu­dent who fell in a park­ing garage near a protest ear­lier this week died, a de­vel­op­ment that threat­ened to in­flame more demon­stra­tions planned for the week­end.

Chow Tsz Lok suf­fered a brain in­jury af­ter fall­ing early on Mon­day as po­lice car­ried out a dis­per­sal oper­a­tion nearby us­ing tear gas. A spokesman for the Hos­pi­tal Au­thor­ity con­firmed on Fri­day that he was cer­ti­fied dead at 8.09am.

While some demon­stra­tors have com­mit­ted sui­cide dur­ing the pro­longed pe­riod of protests, no­body has been con­firmed dead as a di­rect re­sult of a clash be­tween po­lice and demon­stra­tors. Anger over po­lice tac­tics and in­jured pro­test­ers - has been a ma­jor fo­cus of re­cent ral­lies.

“Con­sid­er­ing it’s the first death that’s hap­pened at a po­li­cepeo­ple con­fronta­tion scene, it will cer­tainly add fuel to the al­ready strong fire of anger - par­tic­u­larly when peo­ple gen­er­ally have ab­so­lutely no trust in the sys­tem, and the po­lice,” said Alvin Ye­ung, a pro-democ­racy law­maker.

Hong Kong po­lice of­fi­cials again de­nied their of­fi­cers had chased and pushed Chow, em­pha­sis­ing dur­ing a Fri­day af­ter­noon press con­fer­ence that he had been seen walk­ing around the car park alone in CCTV footage. Po­lice of­fi­cers en­tered the car park twice that night, once dur­ing a pa­trol be­fore Chow en­tered, and the sec­ond time af­ter fire­men were al­ready at­tend­ing to him, said Suzette Foo, the force’s Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent of the Kowloon East re­gion.

She called for a coroner’s in­quiry into his death.

Pro­test­ers held a me­mo­rial for Chow be­fore a lunchtime rally in the city cen­tre on Fri­day, and calls for “flash mob”-style demon­stra­tions mark­ing his death were trend­ing on on­line pro­tester fo­rums.

“We are very sad about the in­ci­dent, we do not know what’s the next step,” said a 31-year-old bank em­ployee who asked to be iden­ti­fied by the sur­name Tam as she protested in cen­trally lo­cated Chater Gar­den. She said the mid­day rally was about show­ing that Hong Kong peo­ple “have not let go” of griev­ances that have fu­eled months of protest.

Chow, 22, was a sec­ond year com­puter sci­ence un­der­grad­u­ate at Hong Kong Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy, ac­cord­ing to the South China Morn­ing Post news­pa­per, which re­ported the death on Fri­day. Univer­sity Pres­i­dent Wei Shyy briefly paused the school’s grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony to an­nounce Chow’s death and ob­serve a mo­ment of si­lence.

The death comes af­ter five months of un­rest in the re­gion’s main fi­nan­cial hub.


■ A pro­tester holds up a ban­ner dur­ing a rally to re­mem­ber Chow Tsz Lok in Hong Kong on Fri­day.

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