Hong Kong, Nov 8 (IANS) Protests broke out in Hong Kong on Friday after a university student died earlier in the day due to a severe brain injury he sustained when he fell from a car park this week near an area of confrontation between anti-government demonstrators and police.
Chow Tsz-lok, a second-year computer science undergraduate at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), reportedly fell from the third floor to the second floor of a car park in Tseung Kwan O on Sunday, while police carried out a dispersal operation nearby with rounds of tear gas fired, reports the South China Morning Post.
The exact circumstances of his fall remain unclear, but reports have said that he was trying to get away from tear gas.
Dozens of angry students at the HKUST vandalised their President Wei Shyy’s residence, sprayed slogans on its front door, and placed posters on its outer walls.
They then went to a campus Starbucks outlet and damaged plates, cups and fridges in the cafe, before pushing over chairs and tables and spraying slogans on walls.
A Bank of China branch on the campus was also damaged.
The chaos took place after hundreds of students gathered for five minutes of silence for Chow, who died in the morning after suffering severe brain injuries and spending four days in hospital.
The university has cancelled classes and a graduation ceremony which was slated to be held on Friday afternoon.
Besides the chaos at the HKUST campus, hundreds of people took to the streets of the city to mourn Chow’s death, the South China Morning Post reported.
Crowds marched from Chater Garden to the streets of Central, with some in Guy Fawkes masks. A banner was carried, with the words “rampaging police murdering people”.
The marchers called the police “evil murderers” and shouted slogans such as “blood for blood, deliver the truth!” and “Hongkongers seek revenge”.
The 22-year-old had been in a coma after being sent to Queen Elizabeth Hospital early on Monday morning. Two operations were carried out to stop the swelling in his head, but sources said neither helped reduce the damage.
His condition deteriorated on Thursday night before he died due to cardiac arrest on Friday morning, a source said.
Sunday’s clash in Tseung Kwan O, which extended into the following day, was sparked by a group of people trying to disrupt a police officer’s wedding held in a hotel in the district.
Anti-government protesters also called for people to take part in assemblies across Hong Kong’s 18 districts on Friday evening, including a candlelight vigil at the Tseung Kwan O car park where Chow fell.