Chandigarh, Sept 26 : Punjab police used water canons to disperse a mob of protesting students in Chandigarh on Friday.
The students were staging a protest against the Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation deal in the city, which soon flared up as police tried to stop them.
The protest comes in the wake of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's visit to Washington where he met US President George W. Bush to seal the agreement between the two countries, but could not do so in the absence of a nod from the US Congress.
Clashes ensued between the students and police, forcing the latter to resort to using water canons to disperse the agitating students.
According to the students, the police also misbehaved with the girls taking part in the protest.
"We were staging a peaceful protest against PM's visit to United States for discussing the nuclear deal, when the police resorted to using force on us and even misbehaved with the girls taking part in the protest," said Gurmukh Singh, a protester.
Dr. Singh's visit is India's first top-level diplomatic engagement since a global nuclear cartel allowed it access to nuclear fuel and technology, overturning a 34-year-long ban for testing nuclear devices.
The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government says that the nuclear deal would help India to increase its nuclear power generation to around 25 per cent by 2050 to meet the country's growing energy demand.
At present, just three per cent of India's total power requirement in generated by nuclear plants.
US lawmakers are likely to vote this week on the agreement, which would end the three-decade ban on U.S. nuclear trade with India.