Lucknow: Paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan, whose name surfaced in the 2017 BRD Medical college tragedy in which several children died allegedly for lack of oxygen, said on Tuesday that he may contest against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from Gorakhpur if any party supports him.
Dr Khan was terminated from the service on November 9 last year and he has challenged it in the High Court. “I can contest the assembly election against Yogi Adityanath in Gorakhpur. If any party gives me a ticket I am ready,” Khan said.
When asked if he is in touch with any party or approached by anyone, “He said yes, talks are on. If all goes well I will be contesting the polls.” Gorakhpur is going to poll in the sixth phase on March 3.
Khan said that he was made a scapegoat in the August 2017 tragedy in BRD Medical college in which children of 80 families died.
Khan alleged that despite the fact he was not in Gorakhpur, his 70-year-old mother was being harassed by the police, which reached at his home to enquire about him.
“I am active on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc., and tell about my whereabouts there. Presently, I am in Mumbai. From here I will be going to Hyderabad and Bangalore for the promotion of my book- ‘The Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy- A Doctor’s Memoir of a Deadly Medical Crisis’, which has become a bestseller with over 5000 copies sold,” he said.
“After the launch of my book on December 17, 2021 police reached my home on Dec 20 and then on Dec 28 and again in January. Police say I am history-sheeter at Rajghat police station of Gorakhpur and due to the election, verification of such people are on,” he said.
“If they had to do the verification, one policeman can go to my place. I have photographs that show a number of policemen reaching my place and clicking outside my house as if they had to show ‘someone’ that they are doing their job,” Kafeel said.
Kafeel’s mother lives in the Basantpur locality of Gorakhpur with his brother Adeel Khan’s family.
Regarding his book, Kafeel said it is about the incident on the evening of August 10, 2017, when liquid oxygen ran out at the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College’s Nehru Hospital in the Gorakhpur and reportedly over the next two days, more than eighty patients – 63 children and 18 adults – lost their lives.
He said as the news of the tragedy grabbed national attention, he was called “a hero” for working ceaselessly to control the crisis and drawing attention to a healthcare system in dire need of repair.
But a few days later, an FIR was filed against nine individuals, including him, for corruption and medical negligence among other grave charges and was jailed, he said.
Kafeel was arrested in January 2020 and charged under the stringent National Security Act (NSA) for his allegedly inflammatory speech at the Aligarh Muslim University and spent five months in prison before the NSA charge was dropped against him by the Allahabd High Court.
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