An art gallery exhibiting works by Pakistani artists was vandalised on Friday by alleged VHP activists, who tore all the paintings and ransacked furniture. Around 20 people were involved in the vandalism at Amdavad-ni-Gufa, witnesses said.

“How can paintings of Pakistani artists be allowed to be on display here when that country is beheading and killing our soldiers, waging a proxy war,” VHP Gujarat unit general secretary Ranchhod Bharvadsaid. Evading a question on whether VHP activists had ransacked the gallery and torn paintings, he said, “Our workers went there and registered a strong protest.”

Exhibition organiser Raveendra Maradia said, “Some people came and vandalised the exhibition. They even tore paintings by Indian artists. I don’t know if they were from VHP or Bajrang Dal, but I am sure that they were anti-social elements.”

Amdavad-ni-Gufa is an art gallery established jointly by the late M.F. Husain and noted architect B. V. Doshi.

Seventeen paintings were on display since August 13, including 11 by Pakistani artists.

“The purpose of this exhibition was to showcase the development in art and artists of both countries for more than 60 years,” Maradia said.

A complaint was registered at the Gujarat University police station, he said.