MUMBAI (Reuters) - Fans of a popular Indian movie actor arrested in connection with a murder investigation thronged the Bengaluru police station where he was being held on Tuesday to demand his release.

Darshan Thoogudeepa, 47, who has starred in several hit films and enjoys a huge fan following in the southern state of Karnataka, home to the tech hub of Bengaluru, was arrested on Tuesday, the state's police chief told reporters.

The actor, known by his first name, was arrested while he was at a gym in the city of Mysuru and brought to Bengaluru, about two hours away, and was due to appear in a local court, media reported.

Police said his arrest was in connection with the killing of a 33-year-old man whose mutilated body was found in a drain on the outskirts of Bengaluru at the weekend. The case has caused a sensation in the state, where stars like Darshan have fanatical followings.

It was not clear if any charges had been brought against the actor.

"We can't say anything more until the investigation is completed. Whether he is involved or not, why the murder was committed, why his name has come up, will all be known only after the investigation," Karnataka Home Minister G. Parameshwara told reporters.

Police had to put up barricades around the police station in Bengaluru to hold back desperate fans who were calling for his release, visuals on local media showed.

(Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Edited by YP Rajesh and Ros Russell)