Two men in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh were beaten and paraded naked on suspicion of allegedly transporting beef.
A video, which has since gone viral on social media, showed the two men stripped to their underwear and being paraded through a street in Bilaspur city.
A crowd is seen following the two men. One man from the crowd is seen whipping the two as others filmed the incident on their phones.
Several people in the crowd can also be seen egging them on, reported NDTV.
Police in Bilaspur said the two men, identified as Narsingh Rohidas, 50 and Ramniwas Mehar, 52, have been arrested on charges of transporting and attempting to sell 33kg of beef.
“We have booked them under relevant laws and sent them to jail on Wednesday,” Bilaspur superintendent of police Parul Mathur was quoted as saying to Hindustan Times.
She added that the two were planning to sell the beef and were arrested.
Police said the two were arrested under the state’s Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act that prohibits the slaughter of cattle.
Cows are considered sacred in the Hindu religion and slaughter of cows has been made illegal in a number of states across the country.
Ms Mathur said the action was taken against the two men on a complaint lodged by a local named Sumit Nayak.
The police said there was no action taken against those who stripped and beat up the two men as no complaint had been lodged yet.
“Police have not got any complaint regarding the beating of the accused. And if the family members register a complaint, police will surely identify the man who was seen beating the accused in the video,” Ms Mathur said.
The two men were produced in a local court on Wednesday.
The recovered meat has also been examined by a veterinary doctor but no details of the examination have been released yet.
Despite a spate of cow vigilantism incidents reported in several states,
The federal home ministry had said in parliament last year that the record keeping of the country’s National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on cow vigilantism was discontinued as the data was unreliable, according to a report by The Hindu newspaper.
The ministry said the reason for this step was because these crimes were not defined.
The NCRB collected data on mob lynching, hate crimes and cow vigilantism up to 2017.