Madhya Pradesh: Villagers shaved half the moustache of a man, half-tonsured him and blackened his face as "punishment" for allegedly stealing a cow in Madhya Pradesh's Damoh district, police said on Friday.

The bizarre punishment was meted out by the residents of Marutal village in the district on Thursday, an official said.

"The man had allegedly admitted to stealing a cow, following which a group of villagers decided to half-shave his moustache and half-tonsure his head," he said.

The villagers also blackened his face and forced him to walk around the village, the official said.

The cattle owner said the cow had gone missing two days ago, and based on a suspicion, villagers had caught one Sitaram, who admitted that he had stolen the animal along with another man.

A video of the incident went viral on social mediainfo-icon, after which, R B Pande, in-charge of the Jabalpur Naka police post, reached the village and brought the accused to the post.

A report has been filed in connection with the incident, and further action will be taken based on a probe, the official said.