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Ethnic minorities in Hong Kong

String of violent street brawls prompts Hong Kong police crackdown on South Asian gang hang-outs

The first fight on Saturday involved about 40 people, brandishing knives, golf clubs and glass bottles

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 May, 2017, 8:02pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 May, 2017, 8:41am

Hong Kong police are planning a crackdown on South Asian gang hang-outs in the Kowloon West area following two street brawls in the last four days.

The first fight, which broke out in the Maple Street Playground in Sham Shui Po at about 10.15pm on Saturday, involved about 40 people from two Indian street gangs – some of whom were brandishing knives, golf clubs and glass bottles, police said.

It spilled onto Cheung Sha Wan Road and Lai Chi Kok Road before officers carrying shields arrived and broke up the fight.

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Six Indian men – all asylum seekers aged 22 to 37 – were found injured and were taken to either Caritas Medical Centre in Cheung Sha Wan or Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei for treatment.

One of the men was arrested for wounding another, and police said they were still hunting for more than 30 others in connection with the incident.

“Investigations showed a dispute over trivial matters between the two Indian groups sparked the fight,” a police source said. “We believe most of them are asylum seekers and police are still searching for them.”

Police said they stepped up patrols in the area after the fight.

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Location of Saturday’s brawl

However, a second clash involving about 20 Indian and Pakistani men broke out shortly before 12.30am on Tuesday at the junction of Kweilin Street and Lai Chi Kok Road – 100 metres from the Sham Shui Po police station.

Police said they had since arrested three Pakistanis and two Indians in Nam Cheong Street in connection with the incident. Four knives and a baseball bat were also seized. The five suspects were arrested for the possession of offensive weapons.

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“They remained tight-lipped and refused to reveal what happened. We are still investigating the motive behind the fight,” the source said. “But initial investigations showed the fights were not linked.”

Another source said Sham Shui Po police were now planning an “anti-crime operation” in the Kowloon West region, targeting the hideouts and hang-outs of South Asian gangs.

“During the operation, police will raid their hideouts and locations such as playgrounds, where South Asians usually hang out at night,” the source said.

Separately, police said a gang of more than 10 South Asian men carrying knives gathered in Ngau Tau Kok at about 10pm on Monday for “a showdown”. They fled before officers arrived and no one has been arrested.