Hong Kong: Hong Kong police officers, who were accused of using “excessive force” to clear pro-democracy protesters, have reportedly been by temporarily removed from their duties, Hong Kong's security chief said.
The police department will also probe television footage showing dozens of police officers beating and kicking a handcuffed protester, Ken Tsang, which led to outrage.
Tsang, a member of Civic Party and social worker, was later taken to a hospital.
The clash between the police and pro-democracy protesters took place on Wednesday after the former cleared an underpass near the government headquarters which it claimed was a major route.
At least 45 protesters were arrested for “unlawful assembly” by police in the early hours today in one of the toughest police operations against student protesters.
The police, wearing riot gear, pushed the protesters back by entering the tunnel in the Admiralty district near government headquarters and cleared away makeshift walls formed from concrete slabs.
They even used pepper spray on those refusing to move and wrestled others to the ground before arresting them.
The protest, now into its third week, demands stepping down of Hong Kong leader, Leung Chun-ying and complete democracy while holding the next elections in 2017. The protesters comprise students and members of 'Occupy Central'.
Meanwhile, Beijing has said that candidates with backing of a committee comprising China loyalists would be permitted to fight the elections.
Thousands of people were protesting against the government at the start. However the numbers of pro-democracy protesters have now started declining and led to traffic chaos.