Indian driver beaten up after asking govt chief about fuel price hike (VIDEO)

Indian driver beaten up after asking govt chief about fuel price hike (VIDEO) A video of an Indian driver being dragged away and beaten up after he dared to ask a government chief about the contentious issue of rising fuel prices has gone viral.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief in the south-Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Tamilisai Soundararajan, was being interviewed on camera when the driver standing behind her attempted to challenge her on the hike in fuel prices.

Footage posted on Twitter by Asian news agency ANI shows the man addressing the BJP chief: “Sister, fuel prices are rising…”

The man was tugged away and roughed up as soon as he uttered the remark.

“I only expressed my anguish about how drivers are affected but they took it in a wrong sense,” the driver, identified as Kathir, later said, NDTV reports. “This is what happened. We need at least 500 rupees ($7) for our food and other expenses every day.But with petrol prices going high, we get only 350 rupees ($5) after paying the auto-rent.”

The rise in fuel prices has drawn public ire against the central BJP government. It prompted criticism by Congress, which organized a nationwide strike on September 10 to call out the effects the increase in fuel prices were having on the wider population.

This latest report appears to add weight to allegations the Hindu nationalist BJP government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to stifle dissent. It was reported in April that journalists who published critical articles on the central government faced intimidation and ostracization.

Reuters reported three editors leaving their jobs at influential media outlets because they had run stories which fell foul of Modi and his supporters.

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