Two teenagers were killed in violence as Indian police cracked down on protests that erupted across the country over derogatory remarks against the Prophet Muhammad by two members of the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Iran PressAsia: Families of the victims said that the police used disproportionate force against the protesters who marched in Ranchi, capital of eastern Jharkhand state, after Friday prayers demanding the arrest of two BJP officials.

Protests turned violent in several places in Uttar Pradesh – India’s most populous state – as police used force to quell the protests.

In Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj, videos that went viral on social media showed police beating the protesters with sticks while arresting a number of them. Similar scenes were reported from Moradabad and Saharanpur cities where Muslims took to the streets demanding the arrest of Sharma and Jindal.

Police in the state arrested more than 200 people, including Muslim community activists.

Police in Prayagraj, which was formerly known as Allahabad, conducted night raids at the home of student leader Afreen Fatima, arresting her father Mohammad Javed, mother, and sister.

Muslim community leaders have denounced the “unbridled” use of force by police in Ranchi and Uttar Pradesh.

Irfan Ansari, a Muslim legislator from Congress, which is part of the ruling coalition in the state, slammed the government over the way the protests were handled. “The job of the police is to protect, not to shoot,” he said in a tweet in Hindi questioning the style of work of the city police chief.

Ansari demanded five million rupees ($64,000) compensation and a government job each for the families of the deceased.

SQR Ilyas, president of the Welfare Party of India, said the police action is “unjustified” as protests are “a democratic right of people”.

He said Muslims came out on the streets because they were hurt by the insults against the Prophet.

The Friday protests over the remarks against the Holy Prophet were witnessed in a number of Indian cities and states, including the northern Uttar Pradesh state, West Bengal, Maharashtra, and the capital New Delhi. The protests in India coincided with huge demonstrations held in South Asia against comments seen as insulting to Islam’s Prophet.

The BJP suspended its spokeswoman Nupur Sharma for making insulting remarks against Islam’s Holy prophet and expelled another leader, Naveen Jindal, for his anti-Islam tweet after a diplomatic backlash from Muslim countries.

The Hindu nationalist party said the offensive remarks did not reflect the government’s position and the comments were made by “fringe elements”.