Police arrested two activists of a hard-line Hindu group Thursday for trying to disrupt a painting exhibition of M.F. Husain, one of India's most famous artists, a group official said.
The activists damaged some paintings in the exhibition in New Delhi's India International Center, said Mangat Ram, a spokesman for Shiv Sena, a powerful Mumbai-based opposition regional party.
"We will not allow exhibition of Husain's paintings," Ram told The Associated Press.
Husain has been living in self-imposed exile in Dubai for two years because of threats from Hindu hard-liners enraged by his painting of a nude woman posed in the shape of India. It caused an outcry among hard-line Hindu groups that said associating India with nudity was disrespectful.
Organizers of the exhibition were not immediately available for comment and police didn't allow photographers inside the exhibition hall, so it is not known if the nude painting was included in the show.
In August Husain said he would like to return home despite threats from Hindu hard-liners. His lawyer Akhil Sibal has said several Hindu groups have threatened to maim and kill the artist if he returns.
While Husain's works have fetched millions of U.S. dollars (euros) in recent art sales, his home and exhibitions have come under attack from right-wing groups.
In addition to the threats, he faces a legal battle back home. A court in the northern Indian town of Hardwar ordered police to seize his property early this year after he failed to appear in response to a complaint filed by Arvind Shrivastava, a lawyer and member of the hard-line group Hindu Jagran Manch, or Hindu Awakening Forum.
Sibal said Husain didn't receive a court summons and he was not aware of the case.