After brief lull, Hong Kong Police fire teargas at pro-democratic protestors

Hong Kong, Dec 2 (ANI): Thousands of protestors staged a peaceful march in several authorised rallies across the city on Sunday only to be dispersed with teargas by police, ending a brief lull and rare period of calm which began after local elections took place last month.

The mass agitations were the first ever since the pro-democracy parties registered a thumping victory in the recently-concluded district council elections as protestors sought to keep up the pressure on the government to accede to its five demands, which includes universal suffrage, stepping down of Chief Executive Carrie Lam and probe into alleged police brutalities.

The protestors also got a big boost in the recent days following bipartisan support in the US, with President Donald Trump signing a bill into law aimed at expressing support to the pro-democratic demonstrators, The Washington Post reported.

"We feel better because of the election and the bill, but that's not the end of the protest. We need to bear in mind that we have a lot of demands which we cannot forget, and if we forget these demands, our friends, our comrades who have died or been prosecuted, their sacrifice would be for nothing," Eric Chan, a protestor, was quoted as saying.

The agitators, including elderly and children, with many dressed in black and wearing face masks, shouted anti-China slogans while some carried banners calling for the end of the Communist Party rule.

At Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon, the anti-government rally was legally permitted by the authorities. However, the police said that the agitation took a violent turn when some protestors did not follow the approved route and attacked officers and vandalised shops perceived to be close to China.

As the protestors hurled insults and made obscene gestures at authorities, police came to the scene and fired teargas and pepper spray in a bid to disperse the crowd.

"As some radical protesters passed by Mody Road Garden via Salisbury Road, they hurled bricks at Police officers. Police officers, in response, deployed the minimum necessary force, including teargas, to stop their illegal acts," police said in a statement.

Law enforcement personnel also made several arrests and used shields and batons to clear away the protestors.

Large-scale protests, triggered by a now-withdrawn controversial extradition bill, have been ongoing in Hong Kong since early June, with the police detaining nearly 4,500 people so far.

Over 1,500 people have been hospitalised after sustaining wounds in clashes and over 400 police officers have been injured. (ANI)