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Demand to be Reinstated in My Job With Due Honour: Dr Kafeel Khan

The report also says he was not involved in the tendering process of the oxygen cylinders, Dr Khan told The Quint.

Updated
India
3 min read

Suspended paediatrician Kafeel Khan, who has been absolved of charges of medical negligence and corruption in connection with the Gorakhpur's BRD hospital tragedy of 2017, on Saturday, 28 September, demanded he be reinstated with due honour.

Addressing mediapersons at the Press Club of India in Delhi, he reiterated that the Uttar Pradesh government should apologise to the families of the children who died and provide compensation to the kin.

“The departmental inquiry has shown that I did not do any medical negligence or indulge in any corruption...That tag of ‘murderer Kafeel’ and infamous doctor Kafeel is off my head now,” he said.

"I demand that I should be reinstated in my job with due honour and a CBI inquiry should be conducted into the case or a court-monitored probe outside the Uttar Pradesh," he said, according to PTI.

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Not Right to Say Clean Chit: Advisor to CM Adityanath

An advisor to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, however, said on Friday that the inquiry has not disproved the charge that the doctor also ran a private practice.

"It is not right to say that Dr Kafeel has got a clean chit in the departmental inquiry. He has made a wrongful conclusion of the report," Mrityunjay Kumar had said in a statement, PTI reported.

Khan during the press conference argued, “I joined UP government service from 8 August, 2016. How did it matter what I did before that”.

Asked if he ran a private practice before that, he said, "Yes from 2013-2016, but it has no connection with the Gorakhpur case or my employment with the UP government."

Khan said he had rushed to the hospital in an effort to save lives of innocent children, and managed to arrange 500 cylinders and the inquiry has found that he was not guilty of medical negligence, according to PTI.

The government had maintained that the children died due to different illnesses, including Japanese encephalitis, and there was no shortage of oxygen.

Asked about his demands, Khan said, "Now the government should accept that there was no oxygen supply and apologise to the family of those children who died, and offer compensation to their families."

The doctor, who has been offering voluntary service through camps in various places, including Muzaffarpur and Assam, said, “I will continue to serve people and my fight will continue till those children who died in Gorakhpur get justice.”

Asked if he felt redeemed after being absolved of the two charges, he said, "My daughter was little in the lap when I got arrested and she had learned to walk when I was released. I missed seeing that transition...but I am happy that the tag of 'infamous Dr Kafeel Khan' is off my head now".

Findings of the Probe

Dr Kafeel Khan was cleared of the charges against him by a departmental inquiry.

The probe found that he was not guilty of medical negligence, nor was he the nodal officer in charge of the encephalitis ward where the deaths took place. It also found that he hadn't been involved in private practice since August 2016, Dr Khan told The Quint.

The report also suggests that he was not involved in the tendering process of the oxygen cylinders and that he had informed his seniors of the oxygen shortage, he said.

The paediatrician was arrested in September 2017. The Allahabad High Court later granted him bail citing the lack of evidence against him.

“…there is no material on record, which may establish medical negligence against the applicant individually. This quite apart from the fact that no inquiry was also undertaken or initiated,” the court had said.

Khan was briefly hailed by the media after reports that he paid out of his pocket to ensure the supply of oxygen to several children at the hospital and by doing so saved several lives.

He insists that he was “a scapegoat” for what was essentially a failure of the hospital management.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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