N THE latest development in an eight-month-long investigation into an alleged unlawful religious conversion case in Fatehpur district of Uttar Pradesh, police on Tuesday issued notices to the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and an official of an agricultural university in Prayagraj, a minority institute, asking them to explain their roles. Police also issued notice to a Prayagraj-based Bishop.
“During investigation, the role of Chancellor Dr Jetti A Oliver, Vice-Chancellor Bishop (Prof) Rajendra B Lal and administrative official Vinod B Lal of the Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHUATS) came to light. We have issued notices to them along with one Bishop Paul, who stays in Prayagraj. They have been asked to join the probe and explain their role by December 29,” said the investigating officer and SHO of the local police station, Amit Kumar Mishra.
The university officials were not available for comment. According to its website, SHUATS was established under UP Act No. 35 of 2016, as passed by the Uttar Pradesh Legislature. “(It) is established and administered by the Ecumenical Minority Christian Society namely the Sam Higginbottom Educational and Charitable Society,” says the website.
The alleged conversion case dates back to April 14 this year, when some Hindu organisations, including the Bajrang Dal, staged a protest outside a church run by the Evangelical Church of India (ECI), in Hariharganj area of Fatehpur, alleging that people were being lured with false promises to convert.
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