The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday granted bail to Dr Kafeel Khan, who was arrested in September 2017 in connection with the death of over 60 children at Gorakhpur’s largest hospital allegedly due to lack of oxygen cylinders.
“The honourable High Court has granted Dr Kafeel bail on the grounds that there was no evidence of the charges against him based on the material submitted to the court,” his lawyer, Sadaful Islam Jafri, said.
Khan, a pediatrician at the government-run BRD Medical College Hospital, was booked along with eight others for criminal conspiracy, attempt to culpable homicide and criminal breach of trust. The police filed a chargesheet in the case in November 2017. The trial in the case is pending before a lower court in Gorakhpur.
Khan’s wife, Shabista, had alleged he was being denied medical treatment in jail and his health condition was deteriorating. Jail authorities last week took Khan for a checkup at the district hospital in Gorakhpur following her complaint.
Shabista released Khan’s letter from jail dated April 18 to the media at the Press Club of India in Delhi on Saturday. The pediatrician wrote he was on leave on August 10, 2017 when he came to know about the deaths and “rushed” to the hospital.
“The moment I got that WhatsApp message on that fateful night, I did everything a doctor, a father, a responsible citizen of India would/should do. I tried to save each and every life which was in danger due to sudden stoppage of liquid oxygen,” he wrote.
“The guilty are DM Gorakhpur, DGME (director general of medical education), principal secretary health education for not taking any action against 14 reminders sent by Pushpa Sales for its Rs 68 lakh dues. It was a total administrative failure at higher level, they did not realise the gravity and just to save themselves, they made us scapegoats and put us behind the bars.”
Khan said his life “turned upside down” when Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited him the following day.
“He asked, ‘so you are Dr Kafeel? You arranged cylinders?’ I said yes sir. He got angry — ‘so you think by arranging cylinders, you became hero, I will see it’,” Khan wrote. “Yogi-ji was angry because of how this incident came into the media.”