Dr Kafeel Khan Gets Clean Chit in 2017 Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy
27th September 2019
Lucknow: Two years after getting suspended from Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College and spending almost nine months in prison, an inquiry into pediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan has absolved him of the charges of corruption, medical negligence and not performing his duty to his fullest on the day over 60 children lost their lives at the hospital due to shortage of oxygen. The report was handed over to him on Thursday by BRD officials. It states that Dr Kafeel was not the nodal officer of the encephalitis ward when the incident occurred and that despite being on leave, he did to the best of his abilities to save lives by arranging 500 jumbo oxygen cylinders in his personal capacity. The 15-page report, a copy of which is with News18, also states that Dr Kafeel was not responsible for the maintenance, tender or payment of the liquid oxygen and further confirmed that there was a shortage of liquid oxygen for 54 hours in BRD medical College from August 10-12. More than 60 children, mostly infants, had died at the hospital within a week in August 2017. There were allegations that the deaths occurred due to disruption in oxygen supply over unpaid bills to the vendor. Speaking to News18, Dr Kafeel said that he always knew he was innocent. “On that fateful day, I did what I could do best, as a doctor, a father and a common Indian. But I was thrown behind bars, vilified by the media, my family was harassed and I was suspended from my job.” Kafeel remains suspended from the institute and has demanded a CBI probe into the matter. “I was made the scapegoat for uncovering the administrative failure and put to jail for nine months,” he said, as he went on to cite the high court ruling of April 30, 2018 that observed that there was a shortage of liquid oxygen due to an abrupt disruption in supplies because of the non-payment of dues to the supplier. “It was a man-made tragedy,” the doctor said, adding that the real culprits are those who failed to make timely payments. “I want their actions to be thoroughly investigated. The parents who lost their children still await justice.” Kafeel has also demanded for compensation for the afflicted families. “The government must apologise to them,” he said.