A Hong Kong policeman shot a masked protestor in the torso on Monday, BBC reported. The shooting was telecast live on Facebook. The shooting took place after protestors tried to block a junction at Sai Wan Ho on the northeast of the island.

The video showed the police trying to detain protestors during morning rush hour. One of the policemen drew his sidearm as he tried to detain a protestor. When another protestor, in a black attire, challenged him, the policeman shot the demonstrator in the torso. Other police officers fired a few more shots, and one of the shots may have hit a protestor on camera.

A hospital spokesperson in Hong Kong told the BBC that the first protestor who was shot is undergoing surgery and is in a critical condition. The spokesperson added that he was unaware of a second person being injured.

The Hong Kong Police confirmed in a statement on Facebook that a man in San Wan Ho was shot with a live round. They also said that revolvers were drawn in Sha Tin and Tung Chung areas, blaming protestors for “extensive illegal acts”.

The police also rejected accusations that senior officers had encouraged reckless use of arms. “Police clarifies that this allegation is totally false and malicious,” the statement read, according to the South China Morning Post.

On October 1, the police had shot a masked demonstrator during China’s celebration of 70 years of Communist rule. A teenage boy was shot in the leg on October 4.

A trader with the surname of Wong told the South China Morning Post that Hong Kong Police “crossed a line” on Monday. “I live in Hung Hom and I joined the strike at the university since there’s more people here,” he says. “I think police crossed a line this morning after shooting someone just before work. Police violence has become normal in Hong Kong.”

The protests

The Hong Kong protests had initially been organised to oppose an extradition bill that would allow criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial. However, they soon evolved into a pro-democracy backlash against the city’s government and its political masters in Beijing.

On October 23, the Hong Kong administration, led by Carrie Lam, formally withdrew the extradition bill. However, the administration accepted just one of the pro-democracy protestors’ demands. The protestors have demanded that Lam step down from her post, an inquiry into the alleged police brutality during the protests, retraction of the word “riots” to describe the demonstrations, amnesty for all those arrested for protesting, and universal suffrage.

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