The Madhya Pradesh government and the Dhar administration got into action mode soon after Hindustan Times did a story on Yusuf Khatri, one of the finest Bagh print craftsmen in the state.
Khatri was exploring the option of moving abroad after his family was attacked during recent communal clashes in the locality.
“Khatri is a gem (nagina) of our state and I will ensure that he gets full security and no harm is done to him and his family. We won’t let them go from the state. I have told the district collector and the SP to ensure that he gets adequate protection. To that end, I have sanctioned police security for him and his family,” state home minister Babulal Gaur told HT over phone.
The artist said that district collector Sriman Shukla personally called him and told him not to worry on any count.
“The collector assured me of the administration’s fullest cooperation and I am satisfied and happy with the assurance given by him and the administration,” Khatri said.
Later, a top police official, who did not want to be quoted, said that they have identified most of the people involved in the attack against Khatri’s family and they would be arrested soon.
“We are waiting for Basant Panchami to be over as communal tension is rising in the area over offering namaz at the disputed Bhojshala. We will arrest them after that.”
International award winning Yusuf Khatri told HT in January that he was thinking of shifting abroad, following an attack on his family. He was thinking of moving base to the US after his brother and nephew were attacked during a communal incident on January 6 and then their factory was set on fire on January 9.
After HT broke the story, local print and electronic media and the national and international wire agencies also picked up the story.
The Khatri family were not the only one to suffer — four other shops, all belonging to Muslims, were looted and burnt, while the locks of a few others were broken.