RTI Reply Clears Dr Kafeel; Yogi Govt Admits to Oxygen Shortage

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Dr Kafeel Ahmad Khan attending an ailing child at BRD Hospital in Gorakhpur in August 2017.

Caravan News

NEW DELHI — An RTI reply clears Doctor Kafeel Khan as Yogi government of Uttar Pradesh accepted that BRD hospital had a shortage of oxygen and six oxygen cylinders were managed by Dr Kafeel Khan on August 11, 2017.

This is the same Yogi government who had arrested Dr Kafeel and sent to jail along with Principal of the BRD College and seven others ignoring his submissions. It is the same Dr Kafeel who had been claiming that there was shortage of oxygen in BRD Medical college on the night of August 11 and he had himself brought cylinders.

The BRD Medical College administration that time had not accepted his version of story because Dr Kafeel was vocal in blaming administration for not releasing funds to the oxygen suppliers.

“The same administration now admits through RTI query that Dr Kafeel had brought four oxygen cylinders to help the children who were in distress,” said Sharma, the RTI activist based in Lucknow.

In a reply to an RTI query filed by Sanjay Sharma, the BRD Medical College accepted that on August 11, Dr Kafeel Khan, the former nodal officer of the hospital, managed to get six oxygen cylinders from Anandlok Nursing Home, Gorakhpur, and four others, reports The National Herald.

On August 11 last year, 30 children died in the encephalitis and neo-natal ward of BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur and later the toll rose to 61 in three days sparking national wide debate about state of government hospitals where children died because there was no oxygen in the hospital.

A year later, on July 4, the government accepted that hospital had shortage of oxygen.

Despite being on authorized leave at the time of incident, Dr Kafeel apparently got a message regarding the crisis and he informed his superiors such as Pediartics Department HOD Dr Mahima Mittal, Dr Satish Kumar – who was the in-charge of the oxygen supply – and Incharge Principal Dr Ram Kumar Jaiswal. Then he rushed to the Hospital.

“He (Dr Kafeel) reached the hospital and urged others as well to come over there,” according to an official of the medical college who was close to the development.

On August 24, 2017 an FIR was filed against nine persons, including Mishra, his wife Purnima Shukla and Dr Kafeel Khan. On September 2, 2017, Khan was arrested and subsequently removed from his post in the hospital.

Dr Kafeel got bail on April 24, 2018, from Allahabad High Court while the Principal had to move Supreme Court and got bail on July 4.

The RTI activist from Lucknow says that almost a year passed no administrative action has been taken against the culprits and urged the state chief minister to take administrative action against the guilty before the unfurling the tri-colour on August 15.

Now when RTI reply cleared Dr Kafeel Khan and state government of Yogi Adityanath admitting that oxygen was in shortage at the hospital what action UP government will take against the culprits is to be seen.

Will Dr Khan be reinstated as doctor at the same position? Who will be held responsible for the mental agony and miseries Dr Kafeel suffered during his jail term. The authorities should apologise to Dr Khan for the excesses committed on him and for humiliating his status as a concerned and cooperative doctor who had done his every bit to save the innocent children at the hospital.

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