NEW DELHI – A man slapped India’s agriculture minister in the face on Thursday, apparently to draw attention to rising food prices and corruption.
Sharad Pawar was talking to reporters at a political function when the man attacked him. TV news reports said the man was shouting slogans about inflated food prices and graft.
Television footage showed the man brandishing a knife as he was dragged away by security officials and Pawar’s aides.
“Don’t you know why I hit him? The common man is distressed. Am I wrong?” he shouted as he was being taken away.
CNN-IBN TV reported that the man was detained by police. Pawar was not seriously hurt.
Such incidents have become increasingly common in India, where ministers and other officials have had shoes thrown at them and their offices ransacked by angry citizens.
The incidents have usually been over political decisions, corruption, or real or perceived injustices.