Three persons were held on Saturday after one of them threw ink at Maharashtra Higher and Technical Education Minister Chandrakant Patil in Chinchwad town, PTI reported.

The incident comes a day after Patil said that BR Ambedkar and Jyotirao Phule did not seek government grants for educational institutions and they “begged” people to gather funds for starting schools and colleges, according to NDTV.

On Saturday, Manoj Bhaskar Gharbade, a member of the Samata Sainik Dal, Dhananjay Bhausaheb Ijgaj, a member of Samata Sainik Dal, and Vijay Dharma Ovhal, a member of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi were held for throwing ink on Patil, reported The Indian Express.

The police said that the incident took place when Patil was exiting the home of a party leader. They said that while one person threw ink at Patil, the other two shouted slogans against the minister.

“An offence in this regard has been registered at Chinchwad police station under Indian Penal Code sections 307 (attempt to murder), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 500 (defamation), 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory), 120B (criminal conspiracy),” the police said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Patil’s remarks have been criticised by the members of the Nationalist Congress Party, the Congress and the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray).

As criticism mounted, Patil subsequently issued an apology saying that he has the utmost respect for Ambedkar and Phule.

“What I meant was begging for funds is similar to present-day concepts of Corporate Social Responsibility, donations or crowd-funding… I should not have used the word ‘begging’,” he said, according to The Indian Express. “The use of such a word is common practice in rural areas.”

On Saturday, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the attack on Patil was very unfortunate and that he was misunderstood.

“People who have resorted to such acts should have understood the meaning of what he said,” Fadnavis said. “He has given clarification about the use of the word and has apologised for it. Targeting him in spite of that is wrong.”

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Police suspended three police officers and seven constables who were deployed at the residence, according to the newspaper.