SO Sau-chung, the man said to have single-handedly ignited two days of fierce rioting in Kowloon over a proposed Star Ferry fare increase 30 years ago, remains as much a mystery today as he was then. So made headlines when he went on a hunger strike at the Star Ferry pier concourse on April 5, 1966 in protest at a Transport Advisory Committee flagged fare hike of between five and 10 cents. The 27-year-old translator was charged for causing 'obstruction and disturbances' after his action at a pier turnstile attracted a large crowd who blocked the pier entrance. Was So merely an everyday citizen using his democratic right to protest against a charge that would make the cost of living higher for the embattled masses? Or was he a communist rebel conniving against the colonial government, as one Taiwanese newspaper suggested? Throughout his two-day trial, which began a week after the riot, So pleaded not guilty and told presiding magistrate C.P. D'Almada that he was 'mentally fatigued'. In court he wore a jacket which in English and Chinese said: 'Support Elsie Elliot' (now Elsie Tu), 'Hunger Strike' and 'Block ferry rise'. Mrs Tu, then an Urban Councillor who recognised the need to study the fare increase proposal at the time, remembers So well as the hunger striker, but she said that she has had no contact with him since that controversy. 'In fact I never knew him except in connection with his courageous action, in spite of the fact that the police at that time tried to make it appear that I had encouraged the hunger strike. 'I visited So once in prison merely to tell him of his legal right to plead not guilty if he so wished. On that occasion one of his friends took me to see his parents to tell them he was all right. 'I have heard that So wants to forget about the affair, possibly because it may have influenced his career. He has certainly not communicated with me.' So was subsequently bound over in $200 by the magistrate to be of good behaviour for two years and nothing more has been heard about him since.