Gorakhpur doctor calls HC judgment quashing his detention under NSA ‘historic’
Gorakhpur paediatrician Kafeel Khan, released from the Mathura jail after the Allahabad High Court set aside his detention under the National Security Act, on Thursday demanded his reinstatement in the Uttar Pradesh medical service. He said he was facing “state-sponsored victimisation” for trying to expose corruption in the system.
Dr. Khan was suspended from Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das Medical College on charges of medical negligence and dereliction of duty in 2017, when 63 children died apparently because of lack of oxygen cylinders. He has not been reinstated despite two government inquiries clearing him of the charges.
Addressing a press conference here, Dr. Khan said the High Court’s judgment holding his detention under the NSA illegal was historic, as it had proved that his seven-month incarceration was based on fictitious charges. The case was registered against him for delivering a speech against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act at a demonstration in Aligarh Muslim University in December last year.
“As the High Court has quashed the charges against me, I would ask Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to give me back my job. I wish to work as a researcher to find out medicines for treatment of COVID-19 infection and offer my volunteership in the vaccine research programme,” Dr. Khan said.
Refuge in Rajasthan
The paediatrician said he and his family members had come to Rajasthan as they felt safe here. “After my release[from jail], I could be framed in another concocted case in Uttar Pradesh. My family felt that Rajasthan is safe… It is a Congress-ruled State. I want to spend some quality time with my family here.”
Dr. Khan also thanked the Congress and Samajwadi Party leaders for extending support to his family. “Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi spoke to my mother when I was in jail. I am also thankful to [SP leader] Akhilesh Yadav,” he said, adding that he had sought an appointment to meet Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot.
Dr. Khan alleged that he was tortured by the Special Task Force of Uttar Pradesh police after his arrest in Mumbai on January 29 and was ill-treated in the jail. “The STF sleuths asked me weird questions like if I had invented a powder to kill people and had visited Japan to topple the government. I was not given food for several days in the jail.”
On a sarcastic note, Dr. Khan said he wanted to thank the STF for not killing him in an encounter while taking him from Mumbai to Aligarh. The case against him had affected his family, he said, while pointing out that his aged mother and wife had to run around for approaching the courts during the pandemic and the businesses of his two brothers were destroyed.
‘U.P. govt. victimised me’
“My one-and-a-half-year-old son does not recognise me, as I have been mostly away to jails in a series of cases. The Yogi Adityanath government has victimised me because I tried to expose the system which involved regular commissions on purchase of equipment to those sitting in Lucknow,” he said.
Dr. Khan said he would go to the flood-affected areas in Assam and other States after spending some time in Rajasthan and arrange multiple free medical camps for treatment of people suffering from water-borne diseases. Another project initiated by his family for establishment of a 500-bedded encephalitis centre on the Uttar Pradesh-Bihar border had been stalled because of the cases registered against him, he said.