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Is 'Hero Doctor' Kafeel Khan a Scapegoat in the Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy?

Dr Kafeel Khan, the head of the encephalitis ward and an assistant professor at the Pediatric department of BRD hospital, has been removed from the post of nodal officer at the National Health Mission.

Pranshu Mishra | CNN-News18

Updated:August 14, 2017, 4:09 PM IST
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Is 'Hero Doctor' Kafeel Khan a Scapegoat in the Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy?
File photo of Dr Kafeel Ahmad. (TV grab)
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Gorakhpur: He became a hero for many on the night of August 10 when he spent his own money to keep the children at Gorakhpur’s BRD Hospital alive. From parents of the children to the Seema Suraksha Bal, everyone has been praising the doctor. Well, almost everyone.

The Yogi Adityanath government, it seems, is not a fan. For Dr Kafeel Khan, the head of the encephalitis ward and an assistant professor at the Pediatric department, has been removed from the post of nodal officer at the National Health Mission.

The National Health Mission ‎works in coordination with the state government in the fight against encephalitis.

News18 had reported on Saturday on the crucial role played by Dr Khan on the intervening night of August 10 and 11 when he spent his own money and ran from pillar-to-post to procure oxygen cylinders to save as many children as he could.

At the end of the massive effort, his team and Dr Khan wept for the children they could not save.

These revelations by News18 are enough to question the UP government’s action against the doctor.

The basic charge levelled against Dr Khan by the office of DG Medical Education is that he collected oxygen cylinders from his private hospital.

Speaking to the media, DG Medical Education KK Gupta said: “The role of Dr Kafeel Khan is under the scanner over how he managed the oxygen cylinders and from which sources.” The DG also hinted at Dr Khan’s private practice.

News18 now has enough proof to question the government's action against Dr Khan. This proof has come from the Sashastra Seema Bal, the central police force.

According to SSB's Public Relations Officer OP Sahu, “It was an unprecedented crisis situation at the BRD Medical College on 10th of August. Dr Khan came to DIG SSB and requested for a truck, so that oxygen cylinders could be collected from various locations and be taken to the medical college.”

“The DIG also provided 11 jawans of the medical wing to assist the staff at BRD Medical College. For hours, our truck collected oxygen cylinders from various locations, including a godown ‎in Khalilabad and ferried them to the medical college where it was a situation of acute crisis,” Sahu said.

“Dr Khan's efforts and SSB's assistance helped in fighting the crisis,” he added.

Investigation done by News18 has also exposed claims that Dr Khan is a rape accused. In fact, documents in possession of News18 show that the charge, levelled in 2015, was found to be false. The police later filed a final report in the case.

News18 also found out that Dr Khan had no role in purchase of drugs or procurement of oxygen. A top source told News18 that Dr Khan was not in the purchase committee.

Replying to media's questions on Dr Khan's alleged role in drug and oxygen purchase, DG Medical Education KK Gupta too didn't have any specific answers. ‎”I have no information about this,” he said.

Questions arise on why the government took this step against Dr Khan. Is it an attempt to divert attention, or part of a larger cover-up?

| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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