Police seen using lathis on protesters before arresting them in Prayagraj.
The Uttar Pradesh Police were seen using lathis to hit protesters before arresting them today in Prayagraj, where a demonstration was held in parts of the city against remarks made by BJP representatives about Prophet Muhammad after Friday prayers.
Prayagraj, one of the Uttar Pradesh's largest cities, saw stone-throwing and the police cracking down on protesters by lathicharges and using tear gas to disperse mobs.
Videos emerging later in the day showed police using lathis on the protesters before pushing them into buses to arrest them. Some protesters were seen trying to flee the police action. Police were seen telling media not to cover the happenings. These events took place after at least two hours of unrest where stones were thrown on policemen, and a few vehicles partly burned as they tried to contain the violence.
Some police personnel were injured too. Senior police officials said the situation was now under control but still tense.
The remarks on Prophet Muhammad by since-suspended BJP national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and since-expelled Delhi BJP leader Naveen Jindal triggered an international row.
Friday saw protests in parts of several cities across India, including Delhi, Ranchi, Saharanpur and Moradabad. The demonstrations in Delhi took place outside the Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India, after the Friday prayers. Protesters demanded the arrest of Nupur Sharma and dispersed after about an hour.
Protests were also held in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ludhiana, Ahmedabad, Navi Mumbai and several areas in Srinagar.
In other places like Lucknow, Kanpur and Firozabad, police tightened security.
The controversial comments during a TV debate and on Twitter had angered Muslims in India and abroad. Several West Asian countries demanded a public apology, summoned Indian envoys and saw calls for a boycott of Indian products. India tried to defuse the row calling the comments "views of fringe elements".
Legal action came after two weeks on Thursday, when Delhi Police filed a complaint against Ms Sharma and Mr Jindal but also named Hyderabad-based politician Asaduddin Owaisi, journalist Saba Naqvi and others for "inciting people on divisive lines" and provoking riots.