Multiple posts are doing the rounds on social media since 22 July saying that Dr Kafeel Khan has been granted bail and released from Mathura jail, where he was lodged. However, there is no truth to these messages and in reality, Dr Khan is still in prison.
Many people have been sharing this message on Facebook and Twitter alike, seemingly celebrating the supposed release of Kafeel Khan from prison. Some also shared it with a photo of him that appeared to support their claim.
WHAT’S THE TRUTH?
The Quint found no news of Dr Khan being released on bail on 22 July, but found a report dated 15 July which said that a hearing on his bail plea had been deferred due to the pandemic.
Another news report by The Hindu dated 20 July quoted Dr Khan’s lawyer as saying that the bail hearing had been deferred to 22 July.
“The Allahabad High Court was scheduled to hear the bail plea on 15 July but it was deferred to 22 July, after its functioning was affected due to the COVID pandemic,” he had said.
It is clear that the messages about him having been released started going viral on the day that this hearing was scheduled to take place.
We found a tweet by a journalist rubbishing the claims on social media on Twitter, adding that while Dr Khan’s case had been heard today, he had not received bail.
Moreover, a simple reverse search told us that all the photos being used in the posts were old ones, dated to 2018 and 2019, from when the doctor had been released from prison on previous occasions.
Further, The Quint reached out to Dr Khan’s family to ask about whether he had been released from jail.
Adil Khan, Kafeel Khan’s brother, rubbished the claims, saying, “I have been getting calls, and I have been telling everyone that this is not true.”
"When he was released in BRD case in 2019, his image with the jail stamp on his hand has gone viral. People have used those visuals and are circulating it online. The bail hearing is on 27 July at Allahabad High Court. Anyhow, the day we get the bail, he won't be released on the same day. It takes a minimum of 1-2 days to get the person released,” he added, speaking to The Quint.
WHO IS DR KAFEEL KHAN?
Dr Khan, a former lecturer and paediatrician, had been booked on 13 December for allegedly making inflammatory statements at Aligarh Muslim University during protests against the Citizenship Amendments Act (CAA) in December 2019.
On 29 January, Dr Khan was arrested at Mumbai Airport over this with assistance from Mumbai Police when he arrived in the city to attend anti-CAA protests. While he managed to secure bail in February, four days after he got bail, he was booked under National Security Act (NSA) which was further extended in May for three months.
For over five months now, he has been lodged at Mathura jail.