Four arrested in clashes after CY Leung town hall meeting

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 August, 2013, 12:34pm

Police arrested four people during heated clashes between pro- and anti-government groups outside a public meeting between Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and residents of Tin Shui Wai yesterday.

Four men were arrested during the afternoon, as scuffles broke out between government supporters and members of pan-democratic groups, many of whom were rallying against land reclamations in Kowloon West and the New Territories.

Scores of pan-democrats massed outside the community hall at Tin Ching Estate on Sunday in the scorching heat, chanting anti-Leung slogans and calling for him to step down. But most of the estimated 500 people at the town hall meeting supported the government.

"We hope Leung doesn't step down … he loves Hong Kong and he loves this country," said Tom Law, a retired schoolteacher, who had lined up in the morning to enter the hall.

"He has been trying to help young people, especially in terms of housing issues."

Further away from the community hall, protest groups were rallying behind a range of causes.

Video: Pro-government and pro-democracy groups clash in Tin Shui Wai

"We are here to protest the government plan to extend the landfill in Kowloon West," said Tuen Mun district councillor Josephine Chan Shu-ying. "We are also asking the government to construct more community facilities for Tin Shui Wai."

Several members of pan-democrat groups said they had been attacked by paid "protestors" from outside the area. "I was trying to film something and then someone kicked me and poured water on me," said one of them, who gave his name as John.

An 11-year-old boy was reportedly injured in a scuffle, police said. He did not require medical treatment.

Many of Leung's supporters were camped around the square with loudspeakers, praising his policies and criticising radical pan-democrat members.

Lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip of People Power criticised Leung's administration for having a "Communist Party gangster mentality, which was slowly encroaching on the lives of Hong Kong people".

A large number of officers were deployed and two were injured, police said. Some protesters accused the police of being heavy-handed.

"The first person was arrested for common assault, the second and third were arrested for disorderly conduct in a public place, and the fourth was arrested for assaulting a police officer," Yuen Long deputy district commander Chan Lok-wing said.

League of Social Democrats vice-chairman Avery Ng Man-yuen, who threw a folding chair at the chief executive's car, was arrested for disorderly conduct in a public place.