The Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS) has sought clarification from the Maharashtra government regarding the auction of artist M F Hussain’s controversial ”Bharatmata” paintings. HJS spokesman Ramesh Shinde, while referring to the reported statement by Nafisa Ali of Action India during a television appearance that the controversial paintings had been sold, said the painter and the persons involved in the sale have insulted national pride. He said that Sharan Aparao, the curator of the gallery who had arranged the sale, has declared that the painting has been withdrawn from the auction but Ms Nafisa has stated otherwise. Therefore, the government should clarify on the issue, he said. The HJS, he said, has demanded arrest of the painter and initiation of legal action against him. The HJS has also demanded that all national honours bestowed upon the painter be withdrawn. Mr Shinde said that since a complaint was lodged with the police even before the painting was sold, it is for the government to clarify on the sale.