Indian police have arrested three men over allegations that women were blackmailed with fake porn photos.

An employee of a photography studio in Kerala state was held on Wednesday for allegedly morphing photos of female clients into pornographic images.

Two of the owners of the studio were arrested on Tuesday.

Police told the BBC’s Ashraf Padanna that they took action after women complained that the images were being used to blackmail them.

The images were being shared on social media, the women allege.

The employee was a photo and video editor at a digital studio which specialises in wedding and other family photos near the town of Kozhikode.

Groups of women had been protesting outside the studio since Monday, demanding the arrest of the employee, who had been sought by police.

Police told the BBC the studio had been closed while they “verify the complaints”.

The men, who have yet to be charged, are to appear in court on Thursday, police say.

They said they found about 40,000 photos of women on a hard disk in the studio. But it’s unclear how many of these images were later doctored.

Police are also yet to confirm if any of the images have been published online or released publicly.

According to statistics released by adult site Pornhub, India has been its fourth largest source of traffic in recent years, behind the US, UK and Canada.

In 2015, the Indian government blocked free access to hundreds of porn sites and claimed it was a move to prevent children from accessing them. But two weeks later, access to the websites was restored following widespread outrage over the move.

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