The Uttar Pradesh Police while opposing the bail plea of the Director and Vice Chancellor of SHUATS (Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Science) has accused them of diverting foreign funds for converting the poor Hindus and Muslims to Christianity.

The bail pleas were moved by Rajendra Bihari Lal, the VC of the University and his brother and Director of the University Vinod Bihari Lal.

The State of Uttar Pradesh has submitted before the Supreme Court that people have been offered monthly salary, education, scholarship, health services, beautiful young girls, clothes, livelihood, etc. for getting converted to Christianity.

The counter affidavit filed before the Supreme Court says, “On 14.04.2022, locals informed about forcible conversion of Hindus and Muslims into Christianity evangelical Church of India situated at Hariharganj, Fatehpur to the Hindu rights organization Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Upon this information, the informant/ respondent no. 2 reached at the said church, where it was found that about 90 Hindus and Muslims are being subjected to conversion and he informed the administrative authorities about this requesting them to reach there. … when they came to know about arrival of Hindu organizations and administrative authorities, the church authorities made all the 90 Hindus sneak away from the rear door of the church”

The Uttar Pradesh Police has opposed granting any relief to the accused persons on the ground that they had received around Rs. 34 crores from various foreign nations and had used the same for the purpose of doing illegal conversions at a mass level.

The present case relates to the mass illegal conversion of marginalized sections of Hindu and Muslim society into Christianity by allurement and the use of threats and coercion. The accused have been named by several witnesses of the case including the victims stating him to be the main perpetrator of the offence who has been receiving and illegally using foreign funds in violation of law for the purpose of committing the offence.

“… the case of the prosecution in gist is that the funds are received from foreign countries to SHUATS from where the same is transmitted to the Yeshu Darbar Trust and further distributed in cash to the Pastors of the churches involved in the said offence as well as staff of Broadwell hospital which further uses the said money for illegal conversion of the marginalized people of Hindu and Muslim faith to Christianity by allurement and fraud”, says the police.

It has been further alleged that since 2005 around Rs 34,44,54,855/- has been received in the FCRA account of SHUATS from various countries including USA, Afghanistan, Japan, Libya, Iraq, Germany, Canada, Guyana, Uganda, Ethiopia, Bahrain, Netherlands, Philippines, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Australia, Nepal, Bhutan, and Nigeria and that despite repeated request by the investigating officer the accused are evading to answer the usage of the amount so received.

The affidavit further mentions, “… it has come to the knowledge that the money so received is being used to make payment for illegal conversion process. It is submitted that SHUATS has registered a trust in the name of Yeshu Darbar Trust wherein petitioner and his family members are the trustees. The funds received from foreign countries by SHUATS are being transferred to Yeshu Darbar Trust, which in furtherance made payment to the Priest of Indian Press Whitarian Church, Deviganj, Fatehpur, U.P. who used the funds for alluring the marginalized section of the society for illegal conversion.”

It has been also submitted before the Apex Court that the pamphlets seized advertising benefits of conversion to Christianity mentioned that an amount of Rs. 35,000/- would be given to people who get themselves converted to Christianity and further if someone induces other people would get an extra bonus amount and if becomes a preacher, then would be provided a monthly salary of Rs. 20,000/-.

“It was also mentioned in the pamphlet that if one converts into Christianity then their child will get cycle clothes books and scholarship. … During the course of investigation it has come into light that the prime witness of the crime, Dinesh Kumar Shukla was even threatened to change the statement otherwise they will kill him … In the statement of Sarvendra Vikram Singh S/o Late Virendra Bahadur Singh U/s 164 CrPC, it has been stated that he was induced by Rajendra Bihari Lal and Vinod Bihari Lal to get converted into Christianity and that if he gets other people converted then he will get Rs. 20,000 per person and they will get him married to beautiful young girl and thereafter baptized him”, the police further submitted.

Earlier in the month of March this year, the Supreme Court had granted interim protection against the arrest on a plea filed by the said director and VC.

The Allahabad High Court had denied anticipatory bail to the accused persons saying that the intent of the accused persons behind the charitable works appears to be dubious affecting the interest of a marginal section of society, the object of law, and the impact of the same on society.