Inquiry report absolves Dr Kafeel Khan in BRD Medical College case

Published : September 27, 2019 18:06 IST

Dr Kafeel Khan. Photo: Thulasi Kakkat

From hero, the paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan turned villain almost overnight in the Baba Raghav Das Medical College case in which 60 children died owing to shortage of oxygen supply in August 2017. Even as a section of the media hailed him for saving lives, Dr Kafeel Khan was suspended, among other things, on the charge of dereliction of duty following a visit to the hospital in Gorakhpur by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The Chief Minister also sacked Dr Rajeev Mishra, principal of the BRD Medical College, and ordered an inquiry into the incident.

Now the inquiry into Dr Kafeel Khan’s conduct during the period has absolved him of the charges of corruption, medical negligence and not performing his duty to the fullest on the said day. The report states that Dr Kafeel Khan was not the nodal officer of the encephalitis ward at the time of the incident. Further, it said that despite being on leave, Dr Kafeel Khan had done his best to save lives by arranging 500 jumbo oxygen cylinders in his personal capacity. “The allegations against the accused are insufficient.... Therefore it is submitted that the accused officer is not guilty,” the report concluded.

The report also stated that the doctor was not responsible for the maintenance, tender or payment of the liquid oxygen. It confirmed that there had been a shortage of liquid oxygen for 54 hours in BRD Medical College from August 10-12, the period when the deaths occurred.

Meanwhile, Dr Kafeel Khan spent nearly nine months in prison and two years under suspension. “I hope the murderer tag will be wiped out now. I was made a scapegoat in what was essentially a man-made tragedy,” he said after the contents of the report were made public. Now out on bail, Dr Kafeel Khan continues to be under suspension. He has demanded a CBI inquiry into the incident.

Incidentally, this is the second vindication for Dr Kafeel Khan. Earlier, he was found not guilty by the police following an allegation of rape against him. “It appears that the complainant on the persuasion of some other person fabricated a false story and filed the complaint which is false and baseless,” the investigator had stated in August 2017.

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