The Uttar Pradesh Police on Tuesday issued a notice to the chancellor, vice chancellor and another official of a Christian institute, and a bishop asking them to explain their roles in an alleged unlawful religious conversion case in Fatehpur district, reported The Indian Express.

The case was registered on April 14 after members of several Hindutva groups held protests outside the Evangelical Church of India in Hariharganj area of Fatehpur alleging that locals were being converted.

The police had registered a first information report based on the complaint of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Himanshu Dixit, reported The Wire.

“During investigation, the role of Chancellor Jetti A Oliver, Vice Chancellor Rajendra B Lal and administrative official Vinod B Lal of the Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences came to light,” Amit Kumar Mishra, the investigating officer of the case, told The Indian Express.

The case was filed under sections 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 506 (Criminal intimidation), 420 (cheating), 467 and 468 (forgery and cheating), of the Indian Penal Code, and Sections 3 and 5 (1) of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021.

Those convicted for forced conversions under the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act can be imprisoned from one to five years with a minimum fine of Rs 15,000. Meanwhile, those convicted for the conversion of minors and women from the Scheduled Caste and the Scheduled Tribe community can be imprisoned for three to ten years of jail time.

The police have booked 54 persons in the case so far out of which 15 are in jail, 36 have received anticipatory bail, and three are absconding, Mishra told The Indian Express. Those booked include, pastor of the church Vijay Masih and 22 are employees of the Broadwell Christian Hospital, located near the church.