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Dr Kafeel Khan sacked 2 years after govt inquiry cleared him of negligence charges

Kafeel Khan was first suspended in the encephalitis deaths case in August 2017. He was suspended again in 2019, but the HC stayed this suspension.

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Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government has terminated the services of Dr Kafeel Khan, a paediatrician with the Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur, over four years after he was first suspended on charges of negligence and corruption in the encephalitis deaths case.

A government inquiry had cleared him of these charges. However, he was suspended in another case in 2019. The Allahabad High Court had stayed this suspension earlier this year.

Khan confirmed the termination order in a tweet Thursday, highlighting the alleged “injustice” in the case.

Uttar Pradesh Medical Education Principal Secretary Alok Kumar also confirmed to ThePrint that the termination order has been released.

The decision was reportedly taken after the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission approved the termination of Khan’s services. ThePrint couldn’t ascertain the reasons behind the decision.

Khan told ThePrint that he is still awaiting the formal order, but added that he will “challenge” it in court. “This government is going in the next few months, still they are throwing such tantrums. Time will tell who was right and who was wrong,” he said.

Also read: Uttar Pradesh govt withdraws re-inquiry against Dr Kafeel Khan in Gorakhpur case

What has happened since 2017

In August 2017, Khan was serving as the paediatrician ward chief at the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur when an alleged disruption in oxygen supply resulted in the deaths of 63 children. Khan was suspended along with seven others.

However, an Uttar Pradesh government inquiry into the case cleared him of all the charges, including attempt to murder and criminal breach of trust by a public servant. The 18-April 2019 panel report highlighted that he made all the efforts to save lives.

“Cognizant of the seriousness of the situation, despite being on leave (on 10 August 2017), he made all possible efforts to manage the unfortunate situation,” the report said.

On 31 July 2019, the doctor was suspended a second time for allegedly forcibly treating patients at the Bahraich District Hospital and criticising government policies. In September this year, the Allahabad High Court stayed the second suspension order.

Khan had also been booked under the stringent National Security Act in February 2020 for an anti-CAA speech he delivered at Aligarh Muslim University on 12 December 2019. In September 2020, the Allahabad HC quashed the charges against Khan, calling the detention order “bad”. The doctor had remained in jail for around eight months.

Also read: Executive acting like colonial rulers, criticism of govt not sedition: Ex-CJ of Allahabad HC


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