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Gorakhpur Infant Deaths 'Manmade Massacre' Over 10% Commission From Oxygen Supplier, Says Kafeel Khan

While many of the infants died allegedly due to disruption in oxygen supply because of pending payments to the supplier, the UP government had maintained that the deaths were caused by Japanese encephalitis.

PTI

Updated:October 29, 2019, 6:40 PM IST
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Gorakhpur Infant Deaths 'Manmade Massacre' Over 10% Commission From Oxygen Supplier, Says Kafeel Khan
File photo of Dr Kafeel Khan.

Bhopal: Dr Kafeel Khan, who was arrested after the death of more than 60 children in a hospital in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur in 2017, on Tuesday called the tragedy a "massacre" that took place for "10 per cent commission", and hit out at Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

The tragedy at Baba Raghav Das Medical College, which shook the nation and made headlines worldwide, began with the death of 30 children on the night of August 10 that year, followed by 34 more deaths in the days to follow.

While many of the infants died allegedly due to disruption in oxygen supply because of pending payments to the supplier, the UP government had maintained that the deaths were caused by Japanese encephalitis.

Khan, then a paediatrician at the state-run hospital, was accused of negligence. He was suspended and later arrested following an outrage over the infant deaths.

Speaking to reporters here, Khan said, "The massacre happened for just 10 per cent commission. It is not a tragedy, it is a man-made massacre.

"I am moving the Allahabad High Court shortly to get justice for the deceased and seek punishment for the culprits. I have immense respect for judiciary and the Constitution."

Attacking Adityanath, Khan, currently out on bail, said the Uttar Pradesh chief minister had, on August 13 that year, told him, "I will see you".

Khan said the contractor supplying oxygen to the hospital at the time had written 14 letters, including to the UP CM, for (release of) pending payments, but nothing happened.

"It was just to get 10 per cent commission from the oxygen supplier that the massacre took place," he claimed.

The doctor said it was surprising that despite an inquiry conducted by a principal secretary rank official in UP, whose report was released last month, "the responsibility of the deaths have not been fixed".

Khan, who was in jail for eight months following his arrest, further claimed, "I have come out without a blemish in the principal secretary's report."

UP Principal Secretary (Stamp and Registration) Himanshu Kumar, who investigated Khan's case, absolved the doctor of any negligence.

"I was made the scapegoat, my wife was tormented by law enforcers. Eight others were victimised along with me. The real culprits are being saved," he alleged.

Khan claimed the bullets fired on his brother were actually meant for him. His brother Kashif Jameel was shot at on June 10 last year when he was returning home on his motorbike near JP

Hospital in the Humayunpur North area of Gorakhpur, with three bullets hitting him.

"My brother was shot four times and injured. They (assailants) mistook him for me. Now my fight is to ensure the victims get justice and the culprits get punished.

"The infants who died were not from any one community. They were Dalits, OBCs, minorities, and they were poor," he said.

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