The district administration in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain has razed three houses claiming they were illegal, days after the police booked their owners for selling banned Chinese kite string, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday.

On Saturday, a 20-year-old woman had died in Ujjain after a kite string got entangled around her neck while riding a scooter. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had ordered officials to take strict action against those selling the Chinese kite strings, which typically have metal or glass coatings to make them sharper.

However, no direct link could be established between the woman’s death and the string sellers whose houses were demolished, according to The Indian Express.

Ujjain Collector Ashish Singh said that the administration had issued prohibitory orders to stop the sale of such strings, but they were still being sold.

“Going by the quantity [of string] seized and the fact that two out of three had previous history, we decided to take stringent action and their houses were demolished as a coercive action to stop sale of the banned kite string,” Singh told the newspaper.

Houses were razed allegedly on the basis of ‘backdated’ notices

On January 16, the houses of Abdul Jabbar, Vijay Bhavsare and Ritik Jadhav were demolished.

The demolition was reportedly carried out hours after they were served notices under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant). However, Jabbar had been booked much earlier on January 3, while Bhavsare and Jadhav were charged on January 12 and January 13.

“My illiterate mother was handed the notice, which was backdated to January 12,” Jabbar’s son Mohammad Zubair told The Indian Express. “Within an hour of handing the notice, more than three vans of police along with JCB machines arrived and began demolishing our house.”

Zubair added that when they objected to the demolition, the officials threatened that they would be booked under the National Security Act.

Meanwhile, Ujjain Superintendent of Police Pallavi Shukla, who oversaw the demolition of Jabbar’s house, said that the action was taken as the district administration found the houses to be illegal.