Off-duty police carry batons and pepper spray to disperse people near a Lennon Wall in Tsuen Wan. Photo: Screen grab, YouTube

Five teenagers were arrested when they gathered at a ‘Lennon wall’ near a subway station in the New Territories on Monday night, three months after an attack in Yuen Long.

The students, aged from 13 to 17, had a dispute with a few men, said to be off-duty police when three of them sprayed anti-government graffiti on a wall outside the Tsuen Wan MTR station.

The officers subdued the students and one of them was pushed to the ground by an officer.

Citizens posted calls online for sit-ins at various locations across the city on Monday night to mark the Yuen Long attack on July 21. They protested against police brutality and called for the police force to be disbanded.

Dozens of people who joined the sit-in wanted to find out what had happened and asked the police to show their warrant cards to prove their identity.

An online video showed that the scene turned chaotic. The police took out batons and pepper spray canisters to defend themselves.

YouTube video

A group of 40 riot police officers arrived and dispersed the crowd with pepper spray. A number of people needed first-aid after being sprayed at their eyes, Oriental Daily reported.

Three of the students were arrested for alleged criminal damage for spraying graffiti on the wall while another two were arrested for alleged loitering and obstructing officers doing their duty.

Yan Chai Hospital Lim Por Yen Secondary School issued a statement and confirmed that three students were arrested for alleged criminal damage and had been detained.

The school said that they would not expel any student, saying school was a place for education and guiding students to the right path in life. They would protect their students as much as they could and set up an emergency task force to handle other student’s emotional reactions.

It was understood that the students are from Form 1, Form 5 and Form 6, Stand News reported.

Another student was from Shek Lei Catholic Secondary School. The principal said a male student from Form 6 was arrested after having a dispute with officers on Monday night.

According to police figures released on October 10, one-third of the 2,379 people arrested so far at the ongoing protests are under 18. That included 104 teens under 16.

Police and triads

Meanwhile, a poll result showed that six in 10 Hong Kong people (66%) agreed with a view that the “721 incident (Yuen Long Attack) involved collaboration between the Police Force and triads”, Ming Pao Daily reported. Just under 24% disagreed with that view.

According to the latest survey conducted by the independent Public Opinion Research Institute, 62% of respondents believed that “there are Chinese People’s Armed Police Force in police operations” in Hong Kong, but 25% did not believe that.

Dr Leung Kai-chi, a lecturer at the School of Journalism and Communication in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the poll results revealed that the public had grave doubts on whether the police could handle crime in a fair and impartial manner.

The results also showed the low level of trust among Hong Kong people in the police, as more than half currently believed that there were law enforcers from mainland China working in Hong Kong.

Leung urged the police to deal with the situation.

Rubbish, police say

However, the police public relations bureau contested the poll results, saying that “combating triads” ranked as the top job on the police chief’s list. They said they had refuted rumors many times previously that law enforcers from mainland China were working in Hong Kong.

The poll involved interviews with 1,072 people aged 18 or above from October 17 to 21.

Public Opinion Research Institute was founded by Dr Robert Chung Ting-yiu, a veteran pollster and University of Hong Kong academic.

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