Three dead in India protest over Facebook post that 'insulted Islam's Prophet Mohammed'

Three dead in India protest over Facebook post that 'insulted Islam's Prophet Mohammed'
The since-deleted post was attributed to the nephew of a politician in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru, where the deadly protest took place.
2 min read
12 August, 2020
Angry demonstrators allegedly set fire to vehicles and attacked police [Getty]
At least three people are dead after Indian police fired on demonstrators angry over a Facebook post that allegedly insulted the Muslim Prophet Mohammed.

Thousands of protesters gathered in the southern city of Bengaluru (formerly known as Bangalore) on Tuesday after the nephew of a local politician shared an Islamophobic meme on Facebook.

The precise content of the since-deleted post is unclear but local media reported it was "derogatory" to the Islamic prophet.

Officers used tear gas, batons and live ammunition to disperse the crowd, the Bengaluru police department said on Twitter.

More than 100 demonstrators were arrested over alleged vandalism and attacks on the police. Footage aired on local television showed some protesters setting fire to cars and attempting to break into a police station.

The person whose account shared the "derogatory" message was also detained, police commissioner Kamal Pant said on Twitter.

"The accused has stated that his account was hacked and he was unaware of uploading the derogatory post," a senior police officer was quoted as saying by The Independent. The post was later deleted, according to local media.

The account responsible belongs to the nephew of R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy, a local politician for the Congress party.

"I'm making a request to my Muslim brethren. There is no need to be violent. I will ensure that proper legal action is initiated against the perpetrators. I request you to maintain peace and harmony and I will be with you for this," Murthy said in a video shared on his Twitter account on Tuesday.

Murthy's house was also attacked and damaged by demonstrators. He was not present at home during the riot.

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