For the past three months, 19-year-old Adnan Khurram regularly attended medical events at AIIMS and introduced himself as a junior resident doctor. On Saturday, too, he arrived at the hospital to attend a marathon — only to be arrested by police on charges on impersonation and forgery.
According to police, Khurram posed as a doctor to speed up his seven-year-old sister’s treatment. Police said she has blood cancer and is being treated at AIIMS.
Police said Khurram had participated in a condolence march for three AIIMS doctors who died in a road accident last month; attended a students’ parliament session; and had taken part in protests against the National Medical Council (NMC) Bill.
According to the Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA), Khurram had become part of a WhatsApp group of doctors and would chat with them often.
He also started attending sessions in AIIMS as well as outside. As a result, the RDA said, he managed to meet various politicians and posted photos with them on Facebook.
However, doctors said he did not disclose which department he belonged to. “He told some people he was a junior resident in haematology… he told another doctor he worked at the laboratory. There are over 2,000 resident doctors at AIIMS and it is very difficult to know everyone. Through regular social media updates, he got information about every event. He would talk to doctors on the pretext of having a keen interest in medical developments,” RDA president Neeraj Bhati told The Indian Express.
Police said Khurram and his family, who hail from Bihar’s Sitamarhi district, are staying with relatives in Batla House. His sister had undergone a blood transfusion on Saturday, police said.
“His father, a teacher at a school in Sitamarhi, said Khurram was going to appear in the pre-medical test next month,” a police officer said.
“During trips to the hospital with his sister, he spotted many doctors walking about from one department to another. So he thought of creating a Facebook profile, where he posed as a junior doctor, and sent friend requests to doctors. Many accepted his request and he started getting updates on medical activities,” the officer said.
The RDA president added that Khurram also managed to get hold of a 15-page logbook carried by junior doctors. He carried it around to evade suspicion, she added.
“Last week, we asked the academic department to check if his name was in the list of junior doctors. We also checked with the accounts section to see if he was enrolled to get a stipend. When we didn’t find his name, we informed the security officer. Khurram was summoned but he did not turn up. We knew he would turn up for the marathon on Saturday and caught him then,” Bhati said.