A mob torched a bus on Hosur Road near Bangalore and burnt two people to death, police said, blaming Hindu activists angry over DMK chief M Karunanidhi's remark over existence of Lord Ram. The bus bound for Chennai, was set on fire late on Tuesday night.
"There were 26 passengers. All escaped but for two passengers who may have been asleep," said a police inspector on conditions of annonymity. "Their bodies have been charred beyond recognition."
Another police officer said the attackers were Hindu activists, enraged by comments by Tamil Nadu's chief minister, M Karunanidhi, who has appeared in public several times questioning the existence of Lord Ram.
Shortly before the bus attack, a mob threw stones at the Bangalore house of Karunanidhi's daughter, where police found a hand-written note demanding Karunanidhi's arrest for deriding Lord Ram. No one was injured in the incident.
The Union government sparked a national row with its Hindu-nationalist opponents last week when it filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, since withdrawn, saying some of Hinduism's most revered texts are "mythological", and do not prove that Lord Ram existed.
The Supreme Court is hearing a dispute over Govt's plans to bore a shipping canal through a bridge-like stretch of sandbanks and rocks between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.
Many Hindus oppose the project, believing the structure to be built millennia ago by Lord Ram and his army of monkeys to rescue his kidnapped wife.
The government has said the structure was formed naturally by the ocean, and Karunanidhi said the issue was being used as a pretext to oppose the government and the project.