Hong Kong police made at least two arrests on Wednesday night after briefly entering Sha Tin MTR station where angry crowds had gathered over a fare dodger who was allegedly manhandled by staff.
Dozens congregated at the station’s concourse accusing staff of injuring a young man by pushing him against a wall after he jumped a barrier. Some pounded on the door of the control room calling on staff, who they had suspected of being inside, to come out.
The station was vandalised with ketchup squeezed into ticket slots, images of controversial pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho pasted on to the walls, equipment pulled from the staff office, and its walls graffitied.
Riot police equipped with bright lights and crowd control weapons entered the station at around 9:30pm, sending crowds into the connecting shopping mall.
At least two masked people wearing all-black were arrested in the skirmish by multiple officers swinging their batons. A streak of blood was found on the floor where the male arrestee was subdued. One female bystander was also taken away in a stretcher by paramedics.
At around 9:50pm, the MTR announced that East Rail Line trains would not call at Sha Tin Station due to police action.
A throng of angry bystanders heckled officers and told them to leave as they retreated from the station.
MTR staff closed the shutters to the station at around 10pm. But many continued to trash its exterior with one protester throwing red paint at its sign and writing “The Party”—a reference to a nickname given to the MTR Corporation which protesters believe to be pro-government.
See also: Explainer: ‘The Communist Party’s Railway’ – How Hong Kong’s once-respected MTR fell afoul of protesters
Others targeted businesses considered to be pro-Beijing, including Maxim’s cakes, which was graffitied with “stop buying.”
Annie Wu Suk-ching, the daughter of the founder of Maxim’s Caterers, has come under fire after denouncing the pro-democracy movement at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The station connects to New Town Plaza—a flashpoint throughout Hong Kong’s 16 consecutive weeks of protests, sparked by a now-soon-to-be-withdrawn extradition bill which would have enabled fugitive transfers to China.
The shopping mall’s management fell afoul of protesters in June after ugly clashes broke out in the shopping mall as riot police made multiple arrests.
Wednesday’s unrest came three days after protesters besieged the plaza, vandalising display screens and making mass reservations at Maxim’s restaurant, hindering staff from doing business. They also targeted the neighbouring MTR station, spray painting its ticketing machines.
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