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Protesters in Hong Kong vandalize subway station, storm mall

AP  |  Hong Kong 

Protesters in Hong Kong smashed windows in a subway station and a shopping mall Sunday following the arrest of pro-democracy lawmakers.

Hong Kong is in the sixth month of protests that began over a proposed China extradition law and have expanded to include demands for greater democracy and other grievances.

Authorities closed the subway stop in the northeastern district of Sha Tin after protesters broke windows and damaged a ticket machine. Police in riot gear stood guard but there was no indication of arrests.

In a separate incident, about three dozen protesters stormed through a shopping mall in the northwestern district of Tsuen Mun. Most were peaceful but one protester used a club to smash windows while others overturned tables in a restaurant.

Meanwhile, the newspaper Apple Daily showed video on its website of police in riot gear arresting a man in the western district of Tsuen Wan. The newspaper said police took away four men and one woman suspected of vandalizing shops.

Activists complain the government of Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Beijing are eroding the autonomy and Western-style civil liberties promised to Hong Kong when the former British colony returned to China in 1997.

On Saturday, police announced the arrest of the six lawmakers on charges of obstructing the local assembly during a raucous May 11 meeting over the extradition bill. All were freed on bail.

The arrests were made a day after protesters mourned the death of a university student who fell from a parking garage when police fired tear gas at protesters.

The circumstances of the death are unclear, but many accuse police of using heavy-handed tactics, including widespread use of tear gas and pepper spray. Police denied pushing the student during the incident last Monday or delaying emergency treatment.

The territory is preparing for elections Nov. 24 that are viewed as a measure of public sentiment toward the government.

Pro-democracy lawmakers criticized the government clampdown as an attempt to provoke violence following the student's death to justify canceling or postponing the elections.

Violence erupted late Friday when protesters took to the streets following memorial events in multiple locations to mark the student's death.

There have been only a few fatalities during the unrest, including some reported deaths by suicide and a man who fell to his death while hanging pro-democracy banners on a building.

More than 3,300 people have been arrested since the start of the protest movement, which has expanded to include calls for direct elections for the city's leaders and other demands.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, November 10 2019. 15:30 IST
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