HYDERABAD, India - Spitting in public is common in India but doing so on the public landed an Indian police constable in southern Andhra Pradesh state in hot water.

Police said Friday that K.R. Rao spat on students demonstrating against a rise in tuition fees for engineering colleges this week, provoking further protests by outraged parents and their children in Warangal town.

The outcry forced the police to take action against Rao, who has served in the force for seven years, suspending him on half-pay for three months.

"The incident is a black spot on the image of the people-friendly police in this district," said Warangal Superintendent of Police Stephen Ravindra.