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UP: Kafeel Khan Faces 6th FIR for his Book Amid Allegations of ‘Conspiracy’, ‘Maligning Govt Image’

Businessman Manish Shukla files FIR alleging, on the basis of overhearing a conversation, that Dr Khan and "4-5 others" were conspiring “to trigger riots and overthrow government”.
Kafeel Khan

New Delhi:  Former paediatrician of BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur, Dr Kafeel Khan, finds himself entangled in a legal battle once again as the Lucknow police lodged a First Information Report (FIR) against him on Sunday. The charges include publishing assertions prejudicial to national integration, hurting religious sentiments, defiling a place of worship, and forgery, following a complaint by a businessman named Manish Shukla. 

According to a report published in The Quint, the FIR, filed in Krishna Nagar police station in Lucknow, marks the sixth legal action against Dr Kafeel Khan since 2017. 

In the FIR, Shukla alleges that Dr Khan and "4-5 others" were conspiring to trigger riots and overthrow the government, claiming he overheard conversations where these individuals were criticising the government and its ministers.

Shukla, in the FIR, alleges that Dr Khan collects money from the book sales for a "secret scheme" and claims that the book, along with Dr Khan's work, is creating animosity and hatred among people against the government. Shukla asserts that Dr Khan's book has maligned the government, holding the health minister and other officials responsible for the Gorakhpur tragedy of 2017, according to the Quint report. 

Reacting to the FIR, Dr Kafeel Khan expressed shock and suggested that the timing of these legal actions may be politically motivated. He told Quint, "You see, elections are coming and a punching bag is needed. They obviously can't touch Shahrukh Khan for the film, but they can still take such actions against me." (He was referring to the film Jawan, in which a character is seen as bearing resemblance to him.)

Dr Kafeel Khan's book, The Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy: A Doctor's Memoir of a Deadly Medical Crisis, launched on December 17, 2021, in Delhi, has also become the focal point of the latest controversy. Translated into six languages, including English, Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Marathi, and Malayalam, the book has an official ISBN number and was released following all regular norms and rules, as stated by Dr Khan's brother, Adil Khan. 

It may be recalled that Dr Kafeel Khan faced imprisonment for more than seven months due to a speech delivered in Aligarh during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Additionally, he got entangled in the Gorakhpur tragedy of 2017, witnessing the unfortunate death of 63 children and 18 adults. This tragic incident unfolded at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College's Nehru Hospital in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh when the facility experienced a critical shortage of oxygen supply. He is said to have arranged for oxygen but said that it was he who was “made a scapegoat” to divert attention from the deaths.

The latest FIR includes charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, such as imputations prejudicial to national integration, punishment for unlawful assembly, forgery, insulting someone intentionally to provoke them, statements conducing to public mischief, uttering words with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings, and injuring or defiling a place of worship with the intent to insult the religion of any class.

As the legal proceedings unfold, Dr Kafeel Khan, known for his involvement in the Gorakhpur tragedy of 2017 and his subsequent imprisonment, faces yet another chapter of legal challenges, this time centred around his memoir.

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