Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Minister Mohammad Akbar Lone on Tuesday slapped a youth when he shouted during Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's speech at an election meeting but the CM later stepped in and promised to address his grievance.
The Minister for Higher Education came down from the dais and slapped Hilal Ahmed while the police were whisking him and his brother away after they shouted "We want justice" as Omar started to speak at the meeting in Rafiabad area of Baramulla district, which is going to polls on May 7.
The Minister, however, later expressed regret over the incident and said he met the youth, who was unhappy over delay in clearance to his project, after the public meeting and apologised to him for losing his calm.
Lone said the Chief Minister, who was "completely unaware" of the incident, met the youth after he came to know about it and assured him that his grievance will be addressed once the election process is completed.
"The concerned individual apologised for disrupting the public meeting and expressed gratitude to the Chief Minister for meeting him personally," the Minister said.
Hilal and Javed Ahmad, residents of Sopore town -- took to their feet as soon as Omar started his address.
The youth told reporters that they had submitted a project for setting up a mineral water plant in Bungus valley but the officials were not clearing their project though they had completed all the formalities.
Both the youths were taken into custody by police.
Lone, a former Speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, termed the incident as "unfortunate" and regretted his behaviour.
"I regret the unfortunate incident in which I got into a scuffle with an individual in Rafiabad who tried to disrupt a public meeting being held there while trying to raise a personal grievance.
"I deeply regret losing my calm and getting into a physical scuffle with the individual," Lone said.
He said he met the youth after the public meeting and apologised to him for losing his calm.
"The concerned individual in turn apologised for disrupting the public meeting in the manner that he did," he said.
"After being informed about this unfortunate incident, the Chief Minister met the concerned individual personally and assured him that his personal issue would be looked into through the due process after the end of Parliamentary Elections," he said.