More than 1,300 arrested, nearly 4,000 petrol bombs seized in connection with PolyU siege

Assistant commissioner of police operations, Chow Yat-ming holds up a photo of molotov cocktails seized from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Screengrab via Facebook.
Assistant commissioner of police operations, Chow Yat-ming holds up a photo of molotov cocktails seized from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Screengrab via Facebook.

Police revealed this afternoon that 1,377 people people were arrested in connection with the nearly two-week siege at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

The figures were disclosed hours after officers completed their two-day search of the campus this afternoon, and handed it back over to the university’s management.

At their afternoon press conference today, officers said that of those arrested, 810 were arrested as they surrendered and left the campus.

Police also confirmed that they seized a total of 3,989 petrol bombs, 1,339 containers of flammable liquids, 601 bottles of chemicals, and 573 “offensive weapons” from the campus during their two-day search.

The police press conference came shortly after the management of PolyU gave their own briefing to update reporters on the extent of the damage on campus.

University President Teng Jin-guang said that among the 1,100 people who had left campus by their count, some 300 were under 18, while only 46 were PolyU students.

“Unfortunately over the last two weeks our campus was occupied by a large number of protesters, and there’s a reason why they came to our campus, [and it] was not because they wanted to occupy campus for sake of occupying the campus,” he said.

“One was that the campus is strategically located, being very close to the Hung Hom tunnel, which is a very, very important part of our transportation system, and so they used our campus as a base for their work to block the Hung Hom tunnel.”

Teng also said that protesters took advantage of the university’s “open campus policy,” which allowed large numbers of protesters to enter campus, which meant that the university effectively lost control of its own campus over the nearly two-week siege.

“PolyU was actually the biggest victim of this particular incident that happened on our campus, due to our location.”

Teng said he was confident that the Hung Hom campus will be open in time for the next semester, but that repair works were likely to take between five and six months, and that the university will have to rethink their open campus policy so that only students and staff will be allowed onto campus.

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