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UP Infant Deaths: Hours after Dr Kafeel Khan Rejoices over Probe Report, Govt Says Yet to Give Clean Chit

The departmental inquiry report has not just cleared Dr Khan of all charges of negligence, it has gone on to praise the efforts made by him to save the dying children.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18.com@qazifarazahmad

Updated:September 27, 2019, 10:46 PM IST
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UP Infant Deaths: Hours after Dr Kafeel Khan Rejoices over Probe Report, Govt Says Yet to Give Clean Chit
File photo of Dr Kafeel Khan.

Lucknow: Hours after news surfaced that a suspended paediatrician of BRD Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur has been cleared of all charges in cases related to the deaths of children in August 2017, the Uttar Pradesh government said no such clean chit has been given to the doctor and that there are grounds on which Dr Kafeel Khan has been found guilty.

A statement from the Uttar Pradesh government said a final decision in the probe report of a departmental inquiry ordered against Dr Khan has not been taken yet. A copy of the report was made available to Dr Khan and it appears that he is giving misleading and incomplete facts to news organisations, the government said.

Two of the four charges levied on the doctor have been found to be true and a decision on that will be taken soon. Apart from this, another departmental inquiry for alleged disobedience has been pending against him.

The statement clarified that charges that Dr Khan was running a private practice and a nursing home, Medispring Hopsital, even after being appointed at a government hospital were found to be true. It also mentioned the allegedly anti-government and political comments made by the doctor.

Earlier on Friday, Dr Khan said he was given a clean chit in the departmental probe ordered by the state government. Speaking to News18, Khan professed his innocence.

"On that fateful day, I did whatever best I could do as a doctor, a father, and an Indian. But I was thrown behind bars, vilified by the media, my family was harassed and I was suspended from my job," he said.

Dr Khan, who continues to remain under suspension, has demanded a CBI probe into the matter.

“I was made a scapegoat for uncovering administrative failures and put to jail for nine months,” he said, citing the High Court ruling of April 30 last year that observed there was shortage of liquid oxygen due to an abrupt disruption in supplies following the non-payment of dues to the supplier.

“It was a man-made tragedy,” the doctor said, adding the real culprits were those who failed to make timely payments. “I want their action to be thoroughly investigated. The parents who lost their children still await justice.”

Dr Khan has also demanded compensation for the grieving families. “The government must apologise to them,” he said.

Meanwhile, the inquiry report has not just cleared Dr Khan of all charges, it has gone on to praise the efforts made by him to save the dying children.

The report, submitted on April 18 by investigating officer Himanshu Kumar, Principal Secretary (Stamps and Registration Department), to UP's Medical Education Department, has acknowledged how Dr Khan left no stone unturned to save the children and his "exemplary conduct" during the crisis.

"The applicant performed his duties as junior spokesperson of BRD Medical College with utmost honesty. The inquiry has not found any complaint against him till the unfortunate incident of the intervening night of August 10/11 2017," the report read.

It further said, in response to the charge that he abdicated his duty as the head of the 100 bed-AES ward, Dr Kafeel was on leave that day and the nodal officer of the ward was one Dr Bhupendra Sharma.

However, he tried to do the needful when he came to know about the crisis, the report said. "Understanding the gravity of the situation, he tried to arrange oxygen cylinders, despite being on leave, the applicant tried his best to get in touch with all the relevant departments." The report lists the details of the agencies and departments that Dr Khan tried to contact that night in desperation to procure oxygen cylinders for the children.

"In his personal capacity (Dr Khan) arranged jumbo oxygen cylinders...(He) did not leave a stone unturned and did an exemplary job... because of the honest work done by him, between 11 and 12th August he was able to procure 500 jumbo oxygen cylinders. He left no stone unturned, did whatever was humanly possible."

The 15-page report stated that not one incriminating evidence against him was found that could substantiate charges of medical negligence. "Neither was the nodal officer of the ward nor was he in any capacity responsible for procurement of oxygen cylinders."

In a video message, Dr Khan said he and his family had received a good news after two years and that finally the tag of being "infamous Dr Kafeel or murderer Dr Kafeel" would wash off him.

"This inquiry report was commissioned by (Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister) Yogi Adityanath himself on 22 August, 2017. The report has admitted that Dr Khan and his team was able to procure 500 oxygen cylinders within 54 hours of the crisis. But I think justice will only be done when the real culprits behind the BRD oxygen tragedy is put behind the bars," he said.

(With inputs from Suhas Munshi)

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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