Police in the Southern Indian city of Bengaluru, also known as Bangalore, say three people are dead after violence erupted between police and protesters over a reportedly derogatory Facebook post about the Prophet Muhammad.
The Times of India newspaper reports the violence began when a nephew of a lawmaker allegedly posted remarks. The report says a mob gathered in front of the lawmaker’s house Tuesday evening and set two cars on fire. Other media reports say the house was set on fire as well.
Thousands of people then took to the streets outside a police station and clashed with officers.
According to Bangalore's police chief, officers were unable to quell protesters and opened fire with live ammunition in self-defense as they risked being overpowered during the unrest.
Police also said the person responsible for the offensive post had been arrested, as well as more than 100 other people arrested for alleged vandalism and violence against officers.
The post has since been deleted, but Facebook did not immediately comment on the issue. The Times reports the nephew insists his account was hacked.
An emergency law banning gatherings has since been imposed on the city of 12 million.