A set of photographs is doing the rounds with the claim that it shows the celebration surrounding the release of Dr Kafeel Khan who has been in jail since January 29, 2020.
"Praise be to Allah, Doctor Kafeel Khan has been released," read the caption of the viral post. At the time of writing this report, the post had been shared 2000 times.
Why Was Dr Kafeel Arrested?
Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) on January 29 had arrested Dr Kafeel Khan from Mumbai airport for allegedly making instigating remarks at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), a month earlier. UP police on December 13 had filed an FIR against Dr Khan for his "inflammatory" remarks at a protest rally in AMU. The UP police in its FIR accused Dr Khan of sowing seeds of discord and disharmony towards other religious communities while he was addressing a rally of around 600 Muslim students at 6:30 pm on December 12. The police also accused Dr Khan of making deflating comments towards Rashtriya Swamsevak Sangh and Union Home Minister - Amit Shah. The police also mentioned that in the clip of the speech, Dr Khan was urging people to fight against the Centre and stoking communal tension.
Later, on January 29, Dr Khan had addressed a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Bihar. He was scheduled to attend an anti-CAA protest in Mumbai where women had organised a sit-in from 11 am. However, when his flight landed in Mumbai, he was taken in custody and later taken to Sahar police station. The police further said that the STF would take Dr Khan to Uttar Pradesh on January 30.
Khan Booked Under NSA
The doctor was brought to Aligarh and then shifted to Mathura jail. On February 10, 2020 he was granted bail but was not released from jail. Three days later, on February 13, the Uttar Pradesh police slapped the draconian National Stringent Act (NSA) against Dr Kafeel Khan.
The authorities on May 12 had extended the detention of Dr Kafeel Khan by another three months.
The Gorakhpur doctor had by then already spent three months in detention at the Mathura Jail under the stringent NSA. The NSA allows preventive detention for up to a year.
The viral post is a collage of two photos. In one, Khan can be seen surrounded by journalists while in the other, he is seen with his wife and daughter.
Similar claims were shared on social media platforms.
Dr Kafeel Khan was released from jail recently.
The claim is false.
The Logical Indian reached out to Adeel Ahmed Khan, Dr Kafeel's brother, who confirmed that Khan has not been released from jail.
"This is an old picture, during the BRD Oxygen Tragedy," he said. "Dr Kafeel got bail on 25 April 2018 and was released from Gorakhpur jail on 28 April 2018," he added.
The hearing on the bail plea of Dr Khan was first deferred to 17 July, since the court proceedings were disrupted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
His bail plea has now been set to be heard on July 27, his brother confirmed to The Logical Indian. Therefore, he definitely hasn't been released from jail unlike the viral claims suggest.
What Was The BRD Oxygen Tragedy?
About 70 children had died in the Gorakhpur hospital allegedly due to the lack of liquid oxygen in the encephalitis and neonatal wards. Dr Kafeel Khan, the head of the encephalitis ward of the hospital, was found to have arranged for four oxygen cylinders at his own expense from a private vendor in the night of August 11, 2017.
This led to the intense nationwide discussion surrounding the shortage of equipment and facilities in hospitals, and Dr Kafeel Khan was hailed as a hero for saving some of the children all by himself. The doctor also claimed that the deaths were due to negligence by the hospital administration which failed to make timely payments to the oxygen supplier Pushpa Sales despite 14 reminders from the company.
The response to an RTI filed by an activist regarding the infamous Gorakhpur hospital tragedy of 2017 had revealed that there was indeed a shortage of oxygen cylinders on the fateful night of August 11, 2017, due to which 63 children died in BRD Medical College Hospital.
This indicated that a cover-up of the case had taken place and that Dr Kafeel Khan, who had tried to arrange for the cylinders on his own and managed to save a few lives, was wrongly implicated.
The response to the RTI filed by a Lucknow activist, Sanjay Sharma, dated April 19, 2018, cleared up the debate surrounding the legitimacy of Dr Kafeel's claims. The response clearly shows that the hospital had acquired six oxygen cylinders from Anandlok Nursing Home in Gorakhpur, and Dr Kafeel had arranged four cylinders on August 11, 2017.
The contradiction between the claims by the UP government and their reply to the RTI implied that the several investigative probes conducted by the state government into the matter were complete failures.
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