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Jobless youth slaps Hooda

Chandigarh, Feb. 2: Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was today slapped by an unemployed youth who, police said, had been depressed after failing an exam for a government job.

The 28-year-old, identified as Kamal Mukhija, broke through the security cordon, jumped onto the open jeep in which Hooda was standing and slapped him on the left side of the face in full public view. He was immediately taken into custody.

The incident occurred at Panipat, about 180km from here, where Hooda had gone to open a children’s park.

According to the police, Kamal, a resident of Panipat, had been depressed as he had not been able to get the job of a deputy superintendent of police. Kamal claimed he had not been called for an interview despite doing well in the written exam.

“The chief minister was leading a Congress road show on Sanauli Road and was accepting garlands from the people when Kamal broke the security cordon and slapped him. He was immediately taken into custody before he could repeat his action. He is being interrogated at the moment,” a police officer said.

The Haryana chief minister enjoys Z-plus security, with over a dozen armed guards around him at all times.

Late at night, government sources said Hooda had pardoned Kamal as he was suffering from depression. This would mean no charges would be pressed against him, the sources added.

Two years ago, retired school principal Ram Kumar had hurled a shoe at the Congress MP from Kurukshetra, Navin Jindal, to protest the alleged lack of opportunities for budding educationists in the state.

Hooda has for the last few months been announcing sops ranging from compensation for the death of milch cows to jobs for all sections of society. Most announcements, however, have not got off the ground.