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UP govt sacks Dr Kafeel, says it’s linked to ‘oxygen shortage deaths’

On August 6, the government's lawyer informed the High Court that a departmental re-inquiry ordered last year against Dr Khan had been withdrawn and the government was likely to decide on his suspension in three months.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
November 12, 2021 3:21:42 am
Expressing surprise over the UP government's decision to sack him, Dr Khan in a video statement said that despite “not a single evidence of medical negligence and corruption against me, I got terminated” and added that “those responsible for the death of 70 children at the Gorakhpur hospital are still roaming free”(File Photo)

Paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan of Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College and Hospital, who was suspended in 2017 after the death of children due to oxygen shortage, has been dismissed from service by the UP government, a government official said here on Thursday.

“He (Dr Khan) has been dismissed from the service as per procedure. He has been dismissed in connection with the incident in 2017 at BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur. It was a part of the disciplinary proceedings against him,” Additional Chief Secretary (Information) Navneet Sehgal said.

Expressing surprise over the UP government’s decision to sack him, Dr Khan in a video statement said that despite “not a single evidence of medical negligence and corruption against me, I got terminated” and added that “those responsible for the death of 70 children at the Gorakhpur hospital are still roaming free”.

Dr Khan, who was arrested after children died at BRD Medical College allegedly due to disruption in oxygen supply in August 2017, was suspended by the government and attached to the office of Director (Medical Education). Two years later, he was again suspended for allegedly creating a nuisance and misbehaving with staff at Bahraich District Hospital.

In September this year, the Allahabad High Court stayed the UP government’s order suspending Dr Khan for the second time and assailed the government on the ground that no inquiry had been concluded against him even after more than two years. The High Court also directed the UP government to conclude the probe related to the 2019 suspension within a month.

On August 6, the government’s lawyer informed the High Court that a departmental re-inquiry ordered last year against Dr Khan had been withdrawn and the government was likely to decide on his suspension in three months.

A senior government official on Thursday said Dr Khan was dismissed after an inquiry found him guilty on three counts. “The three charges against Dr Khan were running a private practice, not informing senior officials about the shortage of oxygen in the hospital, and non-discharge of duties,” the official said, adding that another inquiry against the dismissed doctor is at a final stage and a decision on it will be made soon.

“We had consulted the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission (UPPSC) and it is in agreement with the decision to dismiss Dr Khan from the service… As the matter is sub-judice, the detailed information about Dr Khan’s dismissal will be given to the Allahabad High Court where the matter is being heard,” the senior official said.

In a video statement, Dr Khan said that he has faith in the country’s judiciary and will continue to fight for justice.

“Sixty-three kids died because the government didn’t pay Rs 68 lakh to the oxygen supplier. Eight people were suspended and seven have been reinstated. I got a clean chit from different inquiries — from DM to principal secretary. Even the High Court said that there is not a single evidence of medical negligence and corruption against me. Still, I got terminated from the service. The parents of those 63 kids have not got justice. The real culprits of the BRD Hospital oxygen tragedy are still roaming free. I had a feeling from the onset that this government will not give justice. Because there are people inside the government who are involved in this man-made massacre. I have firm faith in the country’s judiciary. The moment, I will get the official letter from the government saying that I have been sacked, I will approach the high court,” said Dr Khan.

“This happened after the government informed the court on August 6, 2021, that they are withdrawing the second inquiry after the first one gave me a clean chit on medical negligence and corruption. The fight for justice must go on,” he said.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also slammed the BJP government in UP for sacking Dr Kafeel, saying the decision was borne out of malice. “Motivated by a hate agenda, the government is doing all this to harass him. But the government should remember that it is not above the Constitution. The Congress will always be with Dr Khan in his fight for justice,” Priyanka tweeted.

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