Two Adivasi men accused of slaughtering a cow were allegedly lynched by a mob of 15 to 20 men in Madhya Pradesh’s Seoni district, the police said on Tuesday, PTI reported.

The incident took place early on Monday morning between 2.30 am and 3 am in the Kurai police station limits.

The complainant, Brajesh Batti, who was also injured in the attack, alleged that the assailants belong to the Hindutva group Bajrang Dal. Batti said he along with the men were beaten with sticks.

The deceased were identified as Sampat Batti, a resident of Sagar, and Simaria, who lived in Dhansa.

“It was alleged that a group of 15-20 people went to the victims’ house, accused them of killing a cow and assaulted them,” Additional Superintendent of Police SK Maravi said, reported PTI. “The two men died while being taken to hospital and another sustained minor injuries.”

Maravi said that a postmortem was yet to be conducted.

Nearly 20 men have been booked in connection with the attack, a police official said. Of these, six were charged with murder.

“A case of murder has been registered at the Kuarai police station and police teams are searching for the accused,” Maravi added, PTI reported. “Some of the accused are named [in the complaint] and others are unidentified. We have taken two-three suspects into custody.”

The police said that around 12 kg of meat was recovered from the victims’ home.

Congress MLA Arjun Singh Kakodia staged a protest on the Jabalpur-Nagpur highway demanding action against the accused men, PTI reported. The party also demanded that the Bajrang Dal should be banned.

Kakodia also sought compensation of Rs 1 crore each for families of the victims as well as government jobs.

Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath on Tuesday cited data from the National Crime Records Bureau and said that Madhya Pradesh ranks highest in the country in crimes against Adivasis.

“I demand from the government that by announcing a high-level inquiry into this incident, strict action should be taken against the culprits,” Nath wrote on Twitter. “All possible help should be given to the families of the victims and there should be complete arrangements for the treatment of the injured youth at the government expense.”