Friday, March 1, 2024

UP: Kafeel Khan booked for content in his book; FIR alleges book written ‘to overthrow BJP govt’

A case has been filed against Dr. Kafeel Khan, a doctor previously incarcerated for criticizing BJP governments, and five unidentified individuals regarding the publication of his book, “The Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy: A Doctor’s Memoir of a Deadly Medical Crisis.”

The complainant, a Hindu right wing businessman, alleged that certain content in the book is critical of the Uttar Pradesh government.

“The FIR has been registered under various sections of IPC and under violation of charges of the Press and Registration of Books Act on complaint of businessman Manish Shukla of Krishna Nagar,” SHO, Krishna Nagar, Lucknow, Jitendra Pratap Singh, said to IANS news agency.

He said: “As per the complaint, Dr Kafeel’s book was distributed and sold among his supporters as a “means of raising money, establishing his innocence, overthrowing the state government and preventing the central government — which the book claimed was pro-Hindu — from forming a government in 2024.”

The case was lodged under Sections 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery to make or transfer any valuable security, or to receive money), 468 (forgery for cheating), 465 (forgery), 471 (using forged as genuine), 504 (insult to provoke breach of peace), 505 (statements causing mischief), 295 (defiling a place of worship to insult a religion), 295-A (malicious acts to outrage religious feelings), and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integration) of the IPC.

Dr Khan’s ordeal with the BJP-led UP government began in September 2017, when he was arrested in the wake of the deaths of 70 children due to lack of oxygen supply at Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College hospital in Gorakhpur, Khan’s hometown. Then a junior doctor in the paediatrics department, Dr Khan was hailed as a hero for securing a supply of oxygen tanks for the hospital ward from his personal money. However, according to Dr Khan, the incident did not go down well, with Adityanath chastising Khan for his efforts upon meeting him days after the incident. Khan was arrested with eight others for the deaths of the minors, and jailed for seven months.

He was arrested again a year later for 45 days, after authorities claimed he had barged into a hospital in the Bahraich district in UP, leading to an alleged ruckus. The doctor claims he went to the hospital to enquire about the deaths of children at the hospital from encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain.

In 2018, an investigating team looking into the BRD hospital tragedy exonerated the paediatrician of any criminal wrongdoing. Khan has sought an apology from the Adityanath-led government and the reinstatement of his job. But instead, the government ordered another inquiry into the children’s death case.

Months after, Dr Khan was arrested for a speech he made against CAA and NRC. He was later charged under the National Security Act (NSA).
Khan who was jailed for more than seven months, was released after Allahabad High Court called his incarceration “illegal.”


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