Surat, Apr 9 (PTI) An inspector and a constable of Umra police station were today suspended for negligence for Sunday’s incident where three Dalit men barged in and protested at a press conference of Union Minister Ramdas Athawale.

“I have suspended Umra police station inspector S B Bharwad and a police constable. A departmental inquiry has been initiated against them,” Police Commissioner Satish Sharma said.

The three, identified as Kunal Sonawane, Manoj Paide and Dipak Sathave, were arrested after Sonawane went around the dais where Athawale was sitting, and placed a black cloth on his shoulder as a mark of protest.

“Prima facie there is a case of negligence on the part of the two policemen. They were responsible for security and should have been around the minister. They should have kept an eye on everybody at the press conference,” Sharma said.

Sonawane, an activist, had told reporters that he was upset about Athawale keeping mum on the “atrocities” against the community despite being a senior Dalit politician.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.