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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Priyanka calls Kafeel Khan; he says charges slapped under NSA ‘baseless’

After the court verdict, Priyanka had on Tuesday congratulated all "justice-loving people" and Congress workers in UP, who, she said, made efforts for Khan's release.

Written by Deep Mukherjee | Jaipur | September 3, 2020 1:31:18 am
Kafeel Khan, Kafeel Khan statement after release, UP Government, Yogi Adityanath, Kafeel Khan NSA, Anti-CAA protests, Allahabad HC Kafeel Khan, India newsKafeel Khan was released from Mathura Jail after the Allahabad High Court set aside his detention under NSA. (PTI)

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday spoke with Dr Kafeel Khan over the phone and enquired about his well-being a day after his release from prison.

The paediatrician from Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College and Hospital was released from Mathura Jail in Uttar Pradesh late Tuesday night after the Allahabad High Court set aside his detention under National Security Act (NSA), saying it was “bad” in law.

After the court verdict, Priyanka had on Tuesday congratulated all “justice-loving people” and Congress workers in UP, who, she said, made efforts for Khan’s release.

Khan, who reached Jaipur on Wednesday, said it was “baseless” the way he was charged under NSA.

He told The Indian Express: “When I got bail from the lower court they didn’t release me for four days and framed me under NSA. The Chief Justice (of Allahabad HC) has observed that the speech (at AMU) was of 13 minutes and the Aligarh district magistrate took words from only one minute and chose words on his whims to slap NSA against me.”

Now, he said, that very speech has been “described by the honourable HC as one on unity and integrity of India”.

Khan was referring to the HC’s observation that his address to students at AMU during the anti-CAA protests last December was not “any effort to promote hatred or violence”.

On meeting his family, Khan said, “My kid has grown so much…. I missed the first birthday of my youngest son. When I was arrested (in January), he was 7-8 months old; now he is a year-and-a-half old. I am hoping to spend some time with my family.”

Starting that “I will not bend”, Khan said he now plans to provide relief work in flood affected-states and also work as a “corona warrior”.

“I want to continue working for the society. After spending some time with family, I am trying to go to states such as Assam, Bihar, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana where people have been affected by natural calamities such as floods. Many diseases see a rise after flood. I want to provide relief in these areas through camps,” he said.

On his words with Priyanka, Khan said, “Priyanka-ji told me that…they have sympathy for injustice done to the whole family, especially my elderly mother, who went to courts to seek justice for me.”

Priyanka’s call to Khan, however, evoked surprise in some sections of the party. “I don’t know whether it is some sort of balancing act, as she and the party had spoken in favour of the Ram temple (during the bhoomi pujan last month)…. It could be aimed at sending a message to the Muslim community,” a senior Congress leader said.

Senior UP Congress leader and former MLA from Mathura, Pradeep Mathur, was among those present outside Mathura Jail when Khan was released late Tuesday night.

With inputs from ENS, Delhi

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