Minister given slap in the face

India’s agriculture minister was slapped in the face yesterday, 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 corruption.

TV footage showed the man brandishing a knife as he was dragged away by security officials and Mr Pawar’s aides.

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“Don’t you know why I hit him? The common man is distressed. Am I wrong?” he shouted as he was being taken away.

The man was detained by police. Mr Pawar was not seriously hurt. Such incidents have become common in India, where ministers and officials have had shoes thrown at them and their offices ransacked by citizens.