The authorities in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena district on Wednesday bulldozed the homes of two men accused of cow slaughter, reported ANI.

The police claimed that the homes were illegal and built without permission.

There are no provisions in Indian law that allow for the demolition of property as a punitive measure, but the practice has become commonplace in Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states.

The allegations of cow slaughter were made on Friday by a man named Anipal Gurjar.

In a police complaint, Gurjar claimed that he had seen a few persons slaughtering a cow in the Bengali colony area of Morena’s Noorabad village, reported PTI quoting Sub-Divisional Officer of Police Adarsh Shukla. Gurjar was allegedly attacked when he objected and tried to intervene, Shukla added.

On Friday evening, the police searched the house where the alleged slaughter took place, The Indian Express reported.

Shukla said that the police had seized a cow skin and two sacks of bones and beef from the house, PTI reported. He said that six persons, including two women, had been arrested in the case. A minor had also been detained in connection with the incident.

On Saturday, two men among the accused persons, Asgar and Retua, were booked under the National Security Act and sent to jail, Additional Superintendent of Police Arvind Thakur said, according to the news agency.

The National Security Act allows for long periods of detention without trial and suspends important rights of persons accused of a crime, including their right to legal representation and to be informed immediately about the cause of their arrest.

The police also registered a case against nine accused persons under the the Madhya Pradesh Anti-Cow Slaughtering Act, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and provisions of the Indian Penal Code for rioting, assaulting and intimidation, Shukla said.

Three of the persons named in the first information report are absconding, The Indian Express reported. The newspaper quoted an unidentified official as saying that the accused persons were not natives of Morena but had settled there for work.

After the arrests, the district administration surveyed the village of the accused persons, The Indian Express reported. A team then demolished the houses of two of them and weakened the foundations of a third house.

“Revenue officials say that the houses are completely illegal and were built without permission,” Noorabad police station in-charge OP Rawat claimed. “Notices were also issued for the same but no one responded to it, as a result of which the houses are being demolished [on Wednesday] and the police force is deployed to maintain law and order situation.”

Mahesh Singh Kushwaha, a revenue officer in the area, said that the demolitions had been proposed earlier, ANI reported. “The gram panchayat had given them [the accused persons] a notice in the past, even at that time no response was given by them and neither the encroachment was removed,” he said.

On June 15, the authorities in Madhya Pradesh’s tribal-majority Mandla district had demolished 11 homes after the police claimed to have found beef, animal hides and the skeletal remains of cattle there.