The Uttar Pradesh Police have registered a case against a fake doctor for infecting at least 21 people in Unnao with HIV after he used one needle to treat all of them, PTI reported on Tuesday. The accused, identified as Rajendra Kumar, is absconding. Some reports, however, said nearly 40 people were infected with the disease.

Officials discovered the situation while investigating a spike in HIV cases in the area. “Seeing the high number of cases, the health department constituted a two-member committee, which visited various settlements of Bangarmau to investigate the reasons behind the spike,” Chief Medical Officer SP Chaudhury told PTI.

The patients have been referred to an Anti-Retroviral Therapy centre in Kanpur.