Enforcing the draconian national security law, Hong Kong's new police unit arrested four student members of a pro-independence group, aged 16 to 21 on Wednesday, reported South China Morning Post.
This marked the first such crackdown on anti-government activists and also not at the scene of protests.
Senior Superintendent Steve Li Kwai-wah of the National Security Department under the police force said the group had declared the establishment of a body to promote pro-independence political ideals "using any means possible" and build a "Republic of Hong Kong".Studentlocalism was a pro-independence group that was disbanded on June 30, hours before the Beijing-imposed national security law came into effect, reported South China Morning Post.
The draconian law is aimed at crushing dissent in the erstwhile British colony which saw massive pro-democracy protests last year.
The legislation, which came into effect ahead of July 1 punishes what Beijing terms secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference with up to life in prison.