Out­rage after HK stu­dent’s death dur­ing clash with cops

◗ The po­lice has re­peat­edly de­nied any al­le­ga­tions of wrong­do­ing in re­la­tion to the stu­dent’s death

The Asian Age - - Front Page -

al­leged po­lice bru­tal­ity one of their move­ment’s ral­ly­ing cries and have seized on the death.

At the spot where Chow fell, thou­sands queued for hours in snaking lines to lay flow­ers, light can­dles and write con­do­lence mes­sages.

“To­day we mourn the loss of a free­dom fighter in Hong Kong,” Joshua Wong, a promi­nent prodemoc­racy cam­paigner, said on Twit­ter.

“The at­mos­phere in Hong Kong is like a tick­ing bomb,” added Lo Kin­hei, a lo­cal pro-democ­racy coun­cil­lor and ac­tivist. “HKers don’t trust the po­lice will give us the truth.”

The po­lice has re­peat­edly de­nied any al­le­ga­tions of wrong­do­ing in re­la­tion to Chow’s death.

The lead of­fi­cer in the case, Su­per­in­ten­dent Ewing Wu, again in­sisted on Fri­day that po­lice were not at fault.

Stu­dents have been at the fore­front of the lakhs who have taken to streets to press for greater democ­racy, among other de­mands, and rally against per­ceived Chi­nese med­dling in the Asian fi­nan­cial hub

fran­chise per­ceived to be pro-Bei­jing, and ral­lies are ex­pected across the ter­ri­tory, when vi­o­lence tra­di­tion­ally picks up.

“Con­demn po­lice bru­tal­ity,” they wrote on the res­tau­rant’s glass wall.

De­mon­straters had thronged the hospi­tal this week to pray for Chow, leav­ing flow­ers and hun­dreds of get-well mes­sages on walls. Stu­dents also staged ral­lies at uni­ver­si­ties across the for­mer Bri­tish colony.

“He was a nice per­son. He was sporty. He liked play­ing net­ball and bas­ket­ball,” friend and fel­low UST stu­dent Ben, 25, said in tears. “We played net­ball to­gether for a year. I hope he can rest in peace. I re­ally miss him.”

Stu­dents and young peo­ple have been at the fore­front of the hun­dreds of thou­sands who have taken to the streets since June to press for greater democ­racy, among other de­mands, and rally against per­ceived Chi­nese med­dling in the Asian fi­nan­cial hub.

The protests, ig­nited by a now-scrapped ex­tra­di­tion bill al­low­ing peo­ple to be sent to main­land China for trial, have evolved into wider calls for democ­racy, pos­ing one of the big­gest chal­lenges for Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping since he took charge in 2012.

Two pro-Bei­jing news­pa­pers ran full-page ads, com­mis­sioned by “a group of Hong Kong peo­ple,” call­ing for a post­pone­ment of the low­est-tier district coun­cil elec­tions set for Nov. 24, a move which would in­fu­ri­ate those call­ing for democ­racy.

Pro­test­ers have thrown petrol bombs and van­dalised banks, stores and metro sta­tions, while po­lice have fired rub­ber bul­lets, tear gas, wa­ter can­nons and, in some cases, live am­mu­ni­tion in scenes of chaos.

Chow had been pur­su­ing a two-year un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree in com­puter sci­ence. His death came on grad­u­a­tion day for many stu­dents at his univer­sity, lo­cated in the pic­turesque Clear Wa­ter Bay district on the Kowloon side of the har­bour.

The univer­sity called for an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The gov­ern­ment ex­pressed “great sor­row and re­gret”.

— AP

Pro­test­ers light can­dles to pay homage to Chow Tsz-Lok, who fell off a park­ing garage after po­lice fired tear gas dur­ing clashes with anti-gov­ern­ment pro­test­ers, died in a rare fa­tal­ity after five months of un­rest.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.