New Delhi: A week after media spotlight on BRD Medical College’s suspended paediatrician, Kafeel Khan, who had been absolved of corruption and medical negligence charges by a probe panel, the Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh ordered a fresh probe against him on Thursday for making "anti-government" comments during his suspension and spreading "misinformation about the probe.
While speaking to mediapersons in Lucknow, Rajneesh Dubey, Principal Secretary, Medical Education, said, "Some facts were not taken into account by the probe committee of Principal Secretary (Stamp and Registration Department), Himanshu Kumar, and the government is looking into them."
The official said, "Kafeel had told the inquiry committee that he was not the in-charge of the children's ward at the time of the incident but certain documents have been found which indicate that he had worked as its nodal officer during that period."
"Khan has not been exonerated in the case. He has been spreading misinformation through social media as well as in mainstream media regarding the investigation," Dubey was quoted as saying by IANS.
Talking on the fresh probe, the UP Principal Secretary said: "Another fresh angle which will now be probed against Khan, including an incident from 2018. On September 22, 2018, Khan, with three-four outsiders, had tried to treat children at the district hospital in Bahraich causing panic in the hospital."
Reacting on the fresh charges against him, Kafeel Khan told Newsclick that he was being made a scapegoat to divert attention from the death of children in Gorakhpur’s BRD hospital.
"To divert from the real issues that who killed our children, the Adityanath government has framed three new charges on me. They are holding so many press conferences on this. I request them to hold one conference on the children who died of sudden shortage of liquid oxygen. I have not done anything wrong,” the doctor said.
He said on that “fateful day, I did what I could do best, as a doctor, father and a common Indian. But for my efforts to save the lives of children, I was thrown behind bars, vilified by the media, my family was put through immense harassment and I was suspended from my job. After two years, this enquiry report, (commissioned by the state government itself) has accepted that there is no evidence of medical negligence on my part. It states unequivocally that I was nowhere involved with oxygen supply/tender/maintenance/payment or order."
The probe report, Khan said, had also accepted that there was a shortage of liquid oxygen for 54 hours in BRD Medical College on August 10, 11 and 12, 2017 and “I had arranged jumbo oxygen cylinders to save dying kids”, adding that to “hide government failure, I was made scapegoat and imprisoned for nine months. I continue to be suspended from BRD." Khan.
Meanwhile, in the earlier enquiry report submitted by Principal Secretary Himanshu Kumar, Khan had been absolved of two out of four charges levelled against him by the government. He was not found to be the in-charge of AES 100 number ward where the oxygen supply tragedy had struck, claiming the lives of more than 60 children in August 2017.
The report also found Khan not guilty for not informing his seniors of the emergency situation back then, it also found that he was not involved in corruption related to the tendering process for oxygen cylinders, as per the earlier report that surfaced in the media on September 27.
Of the four charges, the doctor was found guilty of indulging in private practice and being attached to a private nursing home in Gorakhpur till April 2017.