‘We Hugged & Cried’: Dr Kafeel’s Kin on HC Ordering His Release
Allahabad High Court has cited lack of evidence against Dr Kafeel Khan, and dropped the NSA charges against him.
“There is no other good news like it,” said Dr Kafeel Khan’s brother Adil Khan on the judgment by Allahabad High Court on Tuesday, 1 September, which revoked the National Security Act (NSA) charges against Khan and ordered his immediate release.
The judgment has come after over seven months of Dr Kafeel Khan being imprisoned in Mathura jail in connection to a speech that he gave over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in December last year.
His family, which has gone through immense trauma and mental stress, expressed its happiness over the order.
His brother Adil Khan told The Quint, “The moment we got to know about the judgement, all of us, my mother, Kafeel’s wife, Shabista, all of us hugged each other tight and cried.”
The NSA charges were slapped against Khan in February for three months, but on 13 May, they were extended for another three months. Before the period could finally end in August, his imprisonment was extended again till 13 November.
In this regard, the court considered the fact that even the NSA is supposed to allow preventive detention, ie, in cases where the person is considered an active threat – however, Khan’s speech was made two months before the government sought his detention under the act.
In addition to this, no material was placed on record to actually show he was a threat. Even the UP Police had not accused him in the charge sheets for the violence that took place in Aligarh on 13 December 2019.
‘Will See Him After Very Long’
It must be noted that throughout his jail time since January, time and again his wife has posted videos explaining Khan’s condition in the jail and its impact on their family.
Sounding elated on Tuesday, Adil Khan continued, "This is the most historic judgement by Allahabad High Court.”
“We had not explicitly told the children about his jail till now. They have been under the impression that he is working in one of his camps, but they had an idea. We’re all going to meet him now, they will finally see their Abba (father) after very long.”Adil Khan, Dr Kafeel Khan’s brother
Talking about Khan’s imprisonment, he added, “For seven months, a doctor was tortured again and again, but what for? what was really his mistake?”
Court Declares Kafeel Khan’s Detention ‘Illegal’
The order was announced by a Division Bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh on Tuesday.
The order read:
“The order of detention dated 13 February 2020 passed by district magistrate and confirmed by the state of Uttar Pradesh is set aside. The extension of the period of mention of detenue Dr Kafeel Khan is also declared illegal. A writ in the nature of habeas corpus is hereby issued to release Dr Kafeel Khan, the detente from state custody forthwith.”
Moreover, on the controversial speech at Aligarh, the basis of which he was arrested, the court stated, “A complete reading of the speech prima facie does not disclose any effort to promote hatred or violence. It also no where threatens peace and tranquility of the city of Aligarh.”
The court noted, “The address gives a call for national integrity and unity among the citizens. The speech also deprecates any kind of violence. It appears that the District Magistrate had selective reading and selective mention for few phrases from the speech ignoring its true intent.”
Khan who has been in jail for over seven months has written several letters from jail so far, each letter pressing on his demand to know what his mistake is, his request to let him serve the needy amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the pain of being separated from his family for so long.
Recently, a lot of people have been taking to social media, especially Twitter, demanding his release. This judgment is also a win for all of them.
Hoping that the procedure of release is smooth and the state government does not seek a stay on the order, Adil Khan said, “It’s very important that we meet him today and get him out as soon as possible, because as you know, several attempts will be made to prevent him from being released. If the state seeks a stay, we will see to it when it happens.”
The family, which hasn’t seen or met Dr Kafeel Khan since March, is meeting him on Tuesday.
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.