Hong Kong police are in control of major streets in Mong Kok district after clearing them of protesters in the past two days.
After opening Argyle Street to vehicular traffic Tuesday, they continued to dismantle barricades and tents the next day, according to Apple Daily.
On Thursday, they were on high alert as sporadic gatherings were spotted near the former protest site, ready to move if the protesters tried to return.
Overnight, officers carried out identity checks outside the Mong Kok Bank Center near the clearance site.
People waiting at bus stops were questioned, resulting in heated exchanges, the report said.
A woman who said she was out to do shopping was held to the ground and passed out, causing tensions between some pedestrians and the police.
Some people complained about police arrogance after they were seen screaming at passers-by and using batons on people who refused to cooperate, the report said.
By 10 p.m. Wednesday, hundreds of peope had gathered in Sai Yeung Choi Street and Shantung Street.
A stand-off ensued, with the crowds ignoring police warnings to leave the area, the report said.
They shouted slogans saying “I want to go to Wellcome!”, “I want to have a hotpot dinner”, “Shopping!” and “I want genuine universal suffrage”.
A woman, surnamed Chan, accused the police of overreacting and using unnecessary measures.
“I had trouble going home after having dinner at Langham Place because the roads were blocked,” she said.
Law Yuk-kai, director of Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, said police officers might have abused their authority when by arrested ordinary pedestrians.
“Unless the police can prove that the people they arrested were protesters, their actions were unacceptable, even crazy,” Law said.
“It’s like being in a totalitarian state.”
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