Dr. Kafeel Khan’s Press Meet on 6th August at Farook College Calicut, Kerala
10th August is coming. It is going to be one year that changed my life also, and the incident because of calousity of the up government, 45 lives lost in 48 hours. 45 kids died because the government didn’t pay money to the vendor who was supplying liquid oxygen to BRD medical college. To the entire medical college, liquid oxygen is supplied through pipelines. The vender, Pushpa sales was asking for his dues for the past six months and wrote 14-19 reminders to the hospital authorities. That includes district magistrate Gorakhpur, DGME Dr. Gupta, Principal secretary, health minister Ashutosh Tandon, who wrote a letter to the Chief Minister also. If you want I can give you the copy of that letter. But nobody gave any money to the vendor and sadly the incident happened on the 10th night, liquid oxygen drained. I got a message on our WhatsApp group in the night that there is no liquid oxygen and the reserve jumbo cylinders are exhausting and kids are dying. So I had to run to the spot at night. I called my senior, I called my HOD, I called my principal and my acting principal, but nothing happened. With my junior doctors we arranged cylinders from nearby hospitals, and with the help of SSP and soldiers we tried saving those children, we worked 48 hours. In those 48 hours, we arranged around 500 cylinders. 250 cylinders per day. On 13t of August when Yogi Adityanathji came and told me, “by arranging cylinders you think you are the hero? I will see.” That was the end. That changed my life. Cops started haunting us. Not only me, my whole family and media started portraying me as a villain. The same media telling me god, farishta, bhagwan, alllah, just a few hours back they portrayed me as a murderer, infamous doctor Kafeel. They made me vice principal of the BRD medical college when you needed to be 40 years old, you needed to have 20 years of experience. They made me the head of the department of pediatrics. The head of the department got escaped because of that. I was the junior most staff there. I joined only on August 8th of 2016 as a permanent employee and I was a lecturer, not a professor to become the head of the department. They made me superintendent of the BRD medical college. So they portrayed me I was running the whole hospital. Even though I was the junior most doctor there. All the doctors in my department got spared media victimization and government’s criticism. They blamed me for stealing cylinders. The whole story was about liquid oxygen got drained and liquid oxygen is supplied through pipelines, there is a big tank, 200 feet long tank which contains thousands of liters of liquid oxygen. I am not a superman to carry the tank on my back and leave, or to steal liquid oxygen from the pipelines. Those fact distorters, haters, hate mongers first they spread rumors on social media and the mainstream media sitting in Delhi and Bombay didn’t go to the ground level to find out who is Dr. Kafeel. Who is this guy? They didn’t go to find out. Is he the junior most or what he did…they didn’t find out. They were just talking. You know they took the news from social media platforms only. Anyway, FIR was lodged. There were 10 charges against me. Corruption, forgery, 419, 420, 308 culpable homicide, medical negligence, Indian Medical Council Act, 66IT act and they put me behind the bars. They even claimed my degree is also false. In the high court, the honorable judge asked this question to the UP government, when his degree is false how did you give him a job. I did my MBBS MD from KMC Manipal. A Medical Council of India recognized college. And my degree is recognized by the Medical Council of India. So they had to drop the charges. They couldn’t find the corruption charge against me is true because I do not bear any financial responsibility. They dropped the 66 IT Act. They dropped the forgery act, dropped 419, 420. Out of ten charges, 308 is still there. Even the high court when they gave bail said, categorically stated, honorable judge that UP government could not produce a single evidence against me about medical negligence. I was nowhere involved in the tender, supply, procurement, order, payment, there are no corruption charges against me. Then why I was in jail for nine months? Still, the question haunts me. When I came out of jail I thought my life will be easy now. But the government-sponsored victimization continued. They tried to kill my brother. When the chief minister was in the temple, just five hundred meters away from were Yogi Adityanath was taking rest around 10.30…like where I am sitting now and the gate where we entered the college. They say when the chief minister is there the security should be tight and it is the protocol that for kilometers cops would be guarding and CCTV cameras will be there. But two guys came on a scooter, they shot my brother. They chased him and they shot three bullets and they disappeared. And even after two months when we go to the police station and ask what investigation is going on they say, “yeah, yeah we are doing it.” even after two months, they don’t have a clue. They say we are clueless. They are saying we are clueless and we are searching. Government is neither revoking my suspension nor letting me work. I can’t work. I am a doctor. But they attached me to the DGME office. They ask me to come every day and sign in the register. I told them I am not a clerk, okay? My place is in the hospital. I am not going to come and sign every day. You fire me. I can join any other hospital. I can sit in a clinic, I can start my life, you know. But that also they don’t want. Just like that when I was in jail they used to tell me that you won’t get bail until 2019 April. I used to wonder why 2019 April? What is it to do with this? My bail? Is judiciary is also under government? Anyhow, I was lucky I got bail. Even though after nine months. They say justice delayed is justice denied. At least the high court realized that I was not responsible for this incident. They gave very good judgment. So the government-sponsored victimization continued. What to do now?! I thought that I will as a doctor, if they revoke my suspension I will continue with those kids who are struggling and dying of the encephalitis in Gorakhpur. You would be knowing, already 1200 kids have died this year also, from January first till fourth July. I thought I will start a five hundred bed encephalitis treatment center if they fire me. But that also they are letting me do. To start my service. When I was in jail in those eight months I got an opportunity, that was a positive you can call it. In prison, I got a lot of time to read and to know what is happening in India. In the name of caste, in the name of religion, they are spreading hate and terror, communal disharmony, violence. I never realized who is Najeeb, who is Aqlaq, who is Junaid when I was a doctor going to the hospital and coming back to my home. But when I was in jail, when I myself became a victim I realized what this regime is doing. What happened to Rohith Vemula? What is Una Kaand? Why Dalits can’t ride a horse when they are getting married? Why don’t people have the right to have rights? When India’s foundation is pluralism, inclusion, and communal harmony this regime of Modi and Yogi they are spreading only hate and violence. Mob lynching? As a human being, you should be ashamed to see somebody killing someone. Here people are happy to see that. You know, in Hapur when Kasim was getting killed in front of Uttar Pradesh cops. There are so many people celebrating the killing on social media platforms. That is not humanity. To watch a human being lynching of another human being and if you are happy seeing that, that is not humanity. You should be ashamed of that. I will tell you when we were kids we used to celebrate Diwali. I used to go for Visarjan of Durga pooja or Lakshmi pooja after that. I used to play with colors. Until my clothes get dirty I used to play with colors. In Eid and Bakrid we used to share food. But now people are hating each other. That is not our India. I am telling you 70% people are with that mind. Only a few people have that tunnel vision. This government is propagating rabbit hole theory to make their vision to see only what they want to see. Some people are wearing those glasses, they see only one picture. This should not be our India. India’s soul is getting hurt. Bharat Mata ro rahi hein. That is not India. That is not Hindustan. We are hating each other. How can you celebrate somebody’s killing? There are rapes, there is victimization everywhere. You are not talking about your promise of two crores of employment, 15 lakh rupees in your account, demonetization, bullet trains. I will tell you about an incident. A few months back in Kushinagar there was an accident where 13 kids died because of the unmanned crossing.1000 unmanned rail crossings are there. You please mind it. There also Yogi Adityanath told what? Don’t do drama. To those parents who were crying, he said don’t do drama. This is the India I don’t want.
I am traveling to all over India, all parts of India. To spread the awareness about what this regime is trying to do, and I assure you we are very near where the devil loses and humanity will win. This is not Ram Rajya they are talking about. We have to raise our voice against all injustice done against any caste, community or any religion in the name of this propaganda. Thank you. Open for questions.
Interaction with media persons.
The court gave the clean chit to you. But why the government continues doing this to you?
The government is the one to answer this question. Actually, the case is going on in the lower court. I have to file the same order in the lower court but the thing is that the trial is not yet started. Four more co-accused are still in jail. When they come out the trial will start I hope. I want to go to the higher courts but you need a lot of money to fight the case in High Court and Supreme Court. I will go if they don’t revoke my suspension. I will at least try to get my name out of the nine accused. I will fight. The high court has given very beautiful judgment I say and they have clearly mentioned that the UP government could not produce single evidence against me. My advocate asked the court to do that but the court asked to file another application.
Are you planning to go across the country to spread awareness?
Yes, I will go.
Do you have any political backing or something?
No no. not at all. I am not affiliated with any politicians or any political party. But I have realized after my brother shot and the victimization continued that to change this rotten system, maybe you have to come to the system.
Are you doing a political campaign against BJP?
Not BJP. My campaign is against this hatred and violence.
You mentioned about Modi and Yogi Adityanath?
Modi is heading to India. He is the prime minister and Yogi is heading Uthar Pradesh. Most violence and most injustices are happening in Uttar Pradesh. Modi is the head of the country.
Your campaign is against Modi?
Not against them. I am against the idea what these people spread. The thought. That mind.
If they are ready to change the idea you can support Modi?
Yes, why not? I will tell you one thing. Four marriage, Halala, teen Talaq, Ram Mandir is not an issue of 99% Muslims of this country. In my whole family, in my locality nobody has done teen talaq, nobody has done four marriages. These are issues sponsored by RSS or BJP. Why are they making teen talaq the only issue of Muslims? No. it is the same issue as all others have, Dalits have, OBCs have everyone who is suppressed by this government. Previously there used to be roti kapda, makan. Now this is health, education, and employment. Even now roti, kapda, makan is relevant. 30 % of people don’t have. Employment, health, and education should be addressed. Not teen talaq or four marriages. I am not a Muslim scholar but I don’t believe all these.
What is the focus of your campaign?
To save our India’s soul. To make India a place where people can love each other not to hate each other. They should not fight. There shouldn’t be mob lynching. People should not get killed just because they are wearing the beard. People should get what they deserve. People should get the education. If you come to UP you will see most of the women in downtrodden communities are not getting educated. They get educated only till 4th or 5th. Kerala is very nice. I see girls here they go to graduation at least they complete graduation. But in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal… literacy is poor. Health system is broken. 1200 kids already died in BRD in 7 months. In our BRD Medical College, founded by Jawaharlal Nehru around 60, 70 years back is the only medical college which caters to two crores of the population, half of the eastern UP, half of the Bihar and half of Nepal. In Kerala, you have 14 districts and 25 medical colleges. So what health system we have? If you go to the PHC, community health system is a white elephant. It is totally broken and there are no doctors in the night. Kids are dying. Japanese encephalitis started in Japan. It vanished there. Because they had the good vaccine. Even the government claim that they have vaccinated 90 lakhs kids this year but still we got a lot of Japanese encephalitis cases. And we are getting only poor kids. Japanese encephalitis spreads from mosquitos. Mosquitos can’t recognize between poor kids and rich kids. Why are rich kids not getting Japanese encephalitis? You should ask, why mosquito is biting only poor kids? Because the parents who can afford vaccination and go to private doctors there and the poor people are dependent on government vaccines. Either government is claiming false or they are not giving two doses, or they are just filling the papers. This is a very sad story in 25 years 25,000 children died because of the disease in Gorakhpur and more than one lakh become handicapped for life. When this incident happened health minister said there used to be a lot of deaths in August. Chief Minister said I am six-month-old chief minister how will I be responsible for the tragedy…no man, you are the member of parliament for past 30 years from Gorakhpur constituency. My motto is not dislodging one particular government, my motto is to spread the real foundation of what our constitution made right to ask rights. That’s all.
Dr. Kafeel Khan do you think you are targeted in Uttar Pradesh because of your religion?
See this question so many people have asked so many times. I always tell them, the person who is on the other side has blocks on his head and he thinks that way that is his fault. I am not going to think in that line. He wanted to save this government’s people. 14 to 19 reminders Pushpa Sales have sent to the district magistrate, to the DGME Dr. KK Gupta, to the Principal Secretary Anita Jain Bhatnagar, and it is clearly mentioned in all 19 letters give my money back or else I will stop oxygen. So if they didn’t have made me scapegoat these people would have been got caught.
You said you are not the responsible person, then why did you send the letter?
I didn’t send. Pushpa Sales has sent. Why would I send? I have not sent any letter, I didn’t know that there is a due. District magistrate Rajiv Rathola was a relative of Yogi Adityanath. Dr. KK Gupta, the DGME who has the financial power to give the money brought by health minister Ashutosh Tandon when the previous government suspended him because of the corruption charges… and he is still DGME. So to save those people they needed a scapegoat. Media was highlighting me for two days. I was an easy target. Whether there was someone else they would have done the same thing? I don’t know. But he wanted to save himself. It is not just me, Rajiv Mishra was also jailed for 9 months. He was not Muslim. Dr. Satish Kumar is a Dalit, one classical example of injustice Dr. Satish Kumar was the anesthesia HOD who was nowhere involved in that pediatric department. People in the medical field know an anesthesia HOD can’t be in charge of the pediatric department. When the DGME wrote report he wrote Dr. Satish Kumar is from Anaesthesia department was also heading a hundred wards. He was sent behind the bars. For him also it took nine months to get bail. Jail superintendent used to tell us in jail, District magistrate’s wife was scratched by a cat. The DM ordered he should get all the cats from the district. Find out. There were orders to search for the scratched cat. They saw one camel was running. They asked why you are running? We are searching for the cat… then the camel said if you send me behind bars, it will take months to prove that I’m not a cat, I am a camel. That’s why I was running. So this joke our jail superintendent used to tell us. It was true. It took nine months to get bail.
Directly or indirectly your campaign will help the opposition parties. Then why can’t you join them?
Maybe joining a particular party will stop me talking the truth. Maybe I have to toe in their line. They do have agendas. For me joining any party is not an issue but I think I don’t want to keep things I want to tell. I just want people to live in harmony, they should not fight. The health system should improve. Go to the down levels to the villages and people, especially girls should be educated. They should not talk about halala, teen talaq, Ram Mandir they should talk about employment, progress, development…
If you get a chance as a candidate for any political party will you take it?
I would not name the party, I got offers to fight an election. The only thing is that if I fight election I would be bound to one constituency. I want to move all over India and spread awareness. I can talk to you because I am free right now. If the government revoke my suspension I would have to go to work and I won’t be able to come to you. The idea is to spread awareness about the injustice they are doing. If I am confined to one constituency it is difficult.
Then you are fighting the RSS?
I told you I am fighting against the idea. Hindu Yuvawahini is there. Bajrangdal is there. Vishwa Hindu Parishad is there. So many affiliations are there. It is not about the people who are affiliated to RSS and all some people who are working with IT companies who are not affiliated with any party also has this tunnel vision. Jayant Sinha who garlanded those killers, he is educated from Cambridge in London, he was not RSS worker. He spent 40 years outside India where the democracy still breaths. But how he become so narrow-minded to garland people who killed someone? Why? So it is just their thoughts. That thought we have to block. Please try to understand. Don’t put me in politics and all. Try to understand what I am trying to tell you. People running a company, people sitting I Bangalore, Bombay, Delhi not affiliated to any party, not affiliated to RSS or Jihadi thoughts, but still, they have this thought. Some Muslims who support Pakistan they watch cricket and feel happy, for what? They talk more about Israel, and what about Assam where 40 lakhs of people lost their citizenship? It is not just about RSS it is about India’s soul. I had schooling where there was no hatred and violence. I spent my 12 years in KMC Manipal Udupi. I never had that feeling. So my mind is not the kattarvadi thing.
There may be some organization or political party supporting you?
Why political party? Why organization? That is my father’s teaching. That is my teacher’s teaching. That is my book taught us, you have to open your eyes to see. What is happening? Why people from Kerala who are very far from UP, Gorakhpur are still there? When I came out on bail, some people cried listening to my story. Why? Why people from Kerala, US, Gulf etc sending me money and asking me to come and settle with them? You should come out of from that thought of political party or political affiliation. You have to think of India, Bharat, Hindustan. Humanity, insaniyat, pyar. I went to Mumbai Jogeswari slum area there was an eight-year-old female, she had so many kids and they didn’t have any utensil to give me tea and something to eat. That woman told me she had been fasting for the past eight months on every Thursday for my release. Why? Why so many people in support? My story touched them. They thought that what this regime is doing can happen to anyone. Anybody can be doctor Kafeel. If you do good work you will be still penalized. I was trying to save those kids. I never thought this is Hindu’s kid this is Muslim’s kid, this is a poor one’s kid and this is a rich one’s kid. We were doing our work. This didn’t even come to our mind.
7.30 PM on 10th August the liquid oxygen drained. And it restored only on 12th August at 1.30 AM. For those 54 hours, there was no liquid oxygen. We were trying to save those kids. There was no such thought as that of RSS. We have to come out of that blockade that there should be some political affiliation.
Do you have any plans to write your experiences, in a book form?
That is a very good question I love to answer. Because I have a habit of writing a diary since I was in 6th standard. Whenever I go to sleep I write, I had written more than 500/600 pages in jail also. Who came to meet me, what jail superintendent told me, who scolded me, today I have to clean the toilet, today I have to take bath in front of all the prisoners naked, today I have to sweep the jail, today how I couldn’t breathe for twelve hours…so I have written everything. But the only thing is that I have to sit and compile those 600 pages. I will. Maybe I will get time after 2019 April only.
What was the approach of IMA and Medical Association towards you?
They helped me. But the help came very late. They started only after Pushpa Sales’ Manish Bhandari got bail. 9th of April they conducted the press conference at Delhi and Gorakhpur, people form IMA came to meet me in jail. But the help came very late. They helped me.
Did someone approach you regarding publishing the book?
Yes. I told you I have to tell somebody I will give you the pages, you compile you write. There are so many things I have written those things public should not know, you know. Before sending me to jail when I surrendered on 2nd September at the special task force of UP, they didn’t take me to the police station. They took me to one guest house. There they kept me for 10 hours. I thought I will be encountered there only. Maybe they had the same plan. But my brother was smart, when they took me to Lukhnow from Gorakhpur he messaged all the media persons that Dr. Kafeel is surrendered. By 1.30 or 2 there was flash on tv that Dr. Kafeel surrendered. Maybe that saved me.
Those 10 hours were horrible for me. They threatened me, they beat me up, they said National Security Act will be charged upon me. even in the jail, they put me with the hardcore criminals. Even though I was a gusseted officer and I must get a class B facility. In Gorakhpur jail, the total capacity is 800 but there are more than 2000 prisoners. In the barak I was put in the capacity was 60 but there was 170, 180 captives. They used to come to me and say I have done 6 murders, I have done 8 murders like that. Then the jail superintendent told me the 7th can be yours.
If you remember, I wrote a letter from jail on 18th of April. Any guess how the letter came out? It came out through my daughter’s diaper. When they came to meet me I put it in her diaper. Because they used to read what I write, that letter I wrote in front of my wife only. Put it in my daughter’s diaper and it came out to the world. Wrote the letter on 18th and I got bail on 25th. That was amazing for me. If I had known that I would have written the letter before. I would have got bail earlier.
Are you getting any threats?
I will show you the message I got when I was coming to Kerala. My flight was at 9. They didn’t allow me to board. Then I had to book another flight. At 12 I got a message saying you will get killed, it also said after your brother, it is your turn. I can show you the message, I have complained to the SSP of Gorakhpur. They send me the message, they call me and say when you are going to Lucknow your car will get into an accident and you will be killed. This way they do. They will ever come in front of me. I travel by train, I travel by bus I roam alone. But yeah I am getting threats. Those threats are not from any particular party or anyone. They send messages from the internet. So that you won’t trace the phone I think.
Remember one thing we are very near when the devil will lose and humanity will win, and we have to work for that.
Compiled by Mrudula Bhavani