Dehradun/New Delhi: A shoe was hurled at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi while he was addressing an election rally near Uttarakhand capital Dehradun on Monday.

The shoe fell some distance from Gandhi, who continued with his speech.

The assailant, identified as Kuldip, was immediately taken into custody by the police.   As the security personnel grabbed Kuldip, Rahul Gandhi told them not to hit him.

“If some people think that throwing a shoe will deter me and force me to run away, they are mistaken,” Gandhi said.   Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi condemned the incident saying it should be probed to find out if there was a conspiracy.

“The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is in power in Uttarakhand. How did the youth reach a point from where he could hurl a shoe? There should be a probe to find out if there is a conspiracy,' Alvi said.

Terming the incident as 'unfortunate', Alvi said irresponsible words like 'civil war' had been used by some BJP leaders in their recent utterances and it had led to a rise in such incidents.  Gandhi's restraint was praised by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

“I like Rahul's reaction... 'Phanko, phanko, ek aur phanko' (Throw one more shoe),” he tweeted.  Abdullah faced a similar incident in Srinagar August 15, 2010. He invited the man who threw the shoe to his residence and promised that no legal action would be taken against him.

(Agencies)