A former Chairman of the Indian Association who was hit with blue dye fired by a police water cannon on Sunday has said he does not accept an apology from Chief Executive Carrie Lam over the incident.

Mohan Chugani was outside the Kowloon Masjid and Islamic Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui with several other people – reportedly there to protect the place of worship after rumours of attack. However, police fired blue tear spray liquid at the mosque despite eyewitnesses claiming that no protesters were nearby at the time. Chugani was among those hit by the stream.

Mohan Chugani
Mohan Chugani. Photo: Epoch Times screenshot.

Chugani, the brother of journalist Michael Chugani, made an appearance at a rally to support Hong Kong police in July. But he blasted the force’s action on Sunday as outrageous.

“There were no protesters here, what were they shooting at?” he said. “I used to believe in the Hong Kong police, now I don’t anymore.”

“[They] just let me down. I know Carrie Lam and I will talk to her.”

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Lam appeared at the mosque on Monday morning to apologise to community leaders in person. She then called Chugani to apologise but he refused to accept her gesture, according to Now TV.

“I told her that the police have completely crossed a fine line. She said she had been handling the situation, and I said I understood it was difficult for her and the police to deal with it, but there is a fine line. The police must know who is a protester and who is a resident. They have to use their brains and should not fire whenever they see people,” Chugani told Now TV.

“I will not accept [Lam’s apology]… Why did the water cannon stop at the entrance of the mosque? You can look at the clips, it stopped and then fired. It was intentional, not unintentional,” he added.

Meanwhile, Fermi Wong, founder of NGO Hong Kong Unison, claimed on her Facebook on Sunday night that two lawmakers had urged Mohan not to speak publicly about the incident.

“Rubbish lawmaker Cheng X-shun of the DAB party went to Mohan’s home to warn him to speak carefully, and scum lawmaker Leung X-fun of the BPA party called him to say she can arrange a meeting for him with the chief executive, and asked him not to speak to media,” she wrote.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Kowloon Masjid and Islamic Centre mosque
Chief Executive Carrie Lam exiting the Kowloon Masjid and Islamic Centre on October 21 to meet with community leaders after the police were accused to targeting the mosque with blue dye the day before. Photo: Stand News.

Chugani confirmed to Now TV that DAB party lawmaker Vincent Cheng visited his home and told him to be careful when speaking to the press about the incident.

Chugani said he understood that Cheng said so in order to remind him not to be exploited, and he urged Cheng to speak to the government about the incident.

Sunday saw hundreds of thousands of Hongkongers take to the streets of Kowloon to protest against the government’s anti-mask law, despite a police ban on a march. The controversial measure was implemented two weeks ago using the 1922 Emergency Regulations Ordinance in response to large-scale pro-democracy protests, now in their 20th week.

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Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.