Hong Kong: In a dramatic turn of events late Monday, dozens of trapped Hong Kong protesters at a campus slithered down ropes several metres to a road below, where they ran away in waiting motorbikes, AFP reported.
Meanwhile, many of the holed-up protestors of Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University are known to have surrendered Tuesday after the city’s leader Carrie Lam said she hoped the stand-off with police could be brought to a peaceful conclusion.
The two sides have been locked in a violent confrontation since Sunday, with sporadic clashes over the past 24 hours interspersed with those inside making increasingly desperate bids for freedom, reports the South China Morning Post.
On Sunday, a police armoured vehicle went up in flames from a barrage of petrol bombs thrown by radicals, IANS reported.
China has meanwhile warned that it will not tolerate any dissent in the financial centre, the news agency reported. Speculation was rife that China might send the military to control the situation, as Chinese soldiers made a brief appearance over the weekend.
Hong Kong is rocked by unprecedented pro-democracy protests for over five months and in the past few weeks they grew violent, bringing the international financial centre virtually to a grinding halt.
The protests which began over a proposed extradition law by the Hong Kong administration sparked fear of extradition of locals to the Chinese mainland for prosecution. It later turned into a major pro-democracy movement with demands to elect their local officials without the Chinese interference.
The protestors, mainly youth, are demanding pro-China Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s resignation, inquiry into police brutalities and universal franchise of ‘one person one vote’ with freedom for all the locals to contest elections for the local legislature.
At least 4,491 people have been arrested, aged between 11 to 83, for offences including unlawful assembly, rioting, possession of offensive weapon, arson, and assaulting police, among others.
(With agency inputs)