Youth slaps Hooda, held

Chandigarh, Feb 2: Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was Sunday slapped by a youth while he was going for a rally in the state’s industrial city of Panipat. The youth, Kamal Mukhija, was arrested by the police and booked for breaching the security of the chief minister.

A video grab of the incident, taken by an unidentified person on his mobile phone, showed the youth trying to step on an open SUV on which Hooda was standing, and in a flash, slapping the chief minister.

The youth was immediately pounced upon by Haryana Police personnel around Hooda and whisked away from the scene.

An agitated Hooda could be seen giving instructions to the security personnel following the incident.

The chief minister was accompanied by several gun-totting commandos and other policemen in plain-clothes when the incident happened.

Hooda was standing on the front seat of an open Gypsy SUV and was part of a Congress roadshow while going towards the rally venue in Panipat, 170 km from here.

Hooda enjoys Z-category security with scores of heavily armed security personnel around him all the time.

However, senior police officers in Panipat claimed the youth did not slap the chief minister but came very near to assault him.

The police officers also said the youth, who is unemployed and belongs to Gohana town, 40 km from Panipat, was suffering from depression. They said the youth was upset as he had not got employment over the past two-three years.

The incident is being seen as a major breach in Hooda’s high-profile security.

Hooda has been chief minister in Haryana since March 2005 and his second term started in October 2009. Assembly elections in the state are likely to take place in October this year.

IANS