Special Correspondent

AHMEDABAD: A petition has been filed in the court of the First Class Judicial Magistrate, Rajkot, against noted painter M. F. Husain, for criminal proceedings under the Prevention of Insults to National HonourAct.

The petition was filed by a Muslim resident of Rajkot, Illyas Khan Pathan, on Saturday under Section 2 of the Act against Mr. Husain's nude painting of ``Bharat Mata.'' The Act provides for punishment up to three years in jail to the offender.

Later referring to Mr. Husain's earlier nude paintings of Hindu gods and goddesses, Mr. Pathan told mediapersons that creating bad blood among people in the name of ``creative works'' had been on the rise and now the painter had even put the national honour at stake. This could not be tolerated. He said he decided to file a case against the painter because he felt that someone neededto take up the cause for protecting the national honour.

Massive rallies were taken out by the Muslims in Dabhoi, Gandhidham and several other parts of the State on Saturday against the Prophet's cartoon, and these preferred to club the issue with that of Mr. Husain's paintings.