Date
26 March 2017
Red minibuses block a section of Shanghai Street in Mong Kok during a standoff with police. Officers try to ward off onlookers (inset). Photos: tvb.com, SocRec
Red minibuses block a section of Shanghai Street in Mong Kok during a standoff with police. Officers try to ward off onlookers (inset). Photos: tvb.com, SocRec

Mong Kok minibus drivers in tense standoff with police

Dozens of red minibuses and more than 100 people blocked three lanes of a major road in Mong Kok Wednesday night in support of a minibus driver who claimed he was attacked by a policeman after being accused of dangerous driving.

The driver was moving the vehicle to a bus stand after being issued a parking ticket when the officer stopped him.

The alleged attack happened during an altercation in which the policeman accused the driver of reckless driving, according to Apple Daily.

The officer claimed the minibus clipped him and injured his right arm.

When other drivers arrived, they were warned by the officer not to interfere with a police matter.

About 30 of them drove their vehicles to the scene in protest, blocking three lanes of Shanghai Street, as dozens of people began to stream in.

A tense standoff ensued after police reinforcements arrived and closed the street, creating a massive traffic jam in Argyle Street and Mong Kok Road.

The drivers were later persuaded to return to a minibus station.

Driver representatives and the police are meeting Thursday to discuss the incident

Ling Chi-kung of the Public Light Bus General Association said red minibuses often park outside the bus stop near Langham Place but their drivers have seldom received parking tickets.

The drivers might have thought they were being targeted by the police, triggering the confrontation, Ling said.

He said the police should issue warnings before handing out parking tickets.

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EL/AC/RA

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