Pune: Senior Congress leader and Maharashtra Co-operatives Minister Harshvardhan Patil sustained an injury in his eye after some activists hurled ink at him at a public function here Friday, an aide said.

"Some activists belonging to the Dhangar community hurled ink at the minister when he was attending a function along with Health Minister Suresh Shetty to inaugurate a primary health centre in Bhigwan village," the aide told IANS.

Patil took the brunt of the ink attack on his left eye and complained of irritation and a burning sensation, though the extent of the injury or the kind of ink used is not known yet.

He was immediately rushed to a hospital in Baramati for preliminary treatment and was later due to go to Pune for specialized care, the aide said.

Harshvardhan Patil. File pic

Police rounded up three youths of the Dhangar community and later placed them under arrest, even as some other members protested.

The incident led to tension between Congress and Dhangar community activists, prompting the district authorities to deploy additional security forces there to prevent any untoward incident. Congress activists put up road blockades in Indapur sub-district protesting the incident.

Dhangars, a very backward community engaged in rearing sheep and other domestic animals, have been classified as a nomadic tribe, but have been demanding at least 3.5 percent reservation in education and jobs.

After the state government granted reservations to Marathas and the Muslim community, the Dhangars have been aggressively agitating, demanding reservation for themselves.