GORAKHPUR: Suspended paediatrician Kafeel Khan, who was recently exonerated of charges of medical negligence and corruption in the death of 70 children at Gorakhpur's BRD Hospital, has sought an apology from the Uttar Pradesh government for the "trauma" that he and his family went through.
The deaths were caused by disruption in oxygen supply between August 10 and 11, 2017 at the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's constituency.
The hospital blamed the oxygen supply disruption on pending payments to the supplier, a charge refuted by the state government, which maintained that the children died due to different illnesses, including Japanese encephalitis.
Khan was accused of negligence and corruption. He was suspended and arrested following the outrage over the incident.
"I was made a scapegoat by the Yogi Adityanath government. The deaths of 70 children at the BRD Hospital in August 2017 was actually a 'man-made massacre'," he said, adding that Adityanath should reveal the names of those responsible for the deaths.
"On August 11 and 12, 2017, when the tragedy took place, everyone was talking about Dr Kafeel Khan. They were also asking about how those 70 kids died and who is responsible if money was not paid on time to the agency supplying the oxygen," he said.
Khan said the people responsible for the tragedy were the ones who did not respond to the letters sent by Pushpa Sales for clearance of its dues.
"The people responsible are those who got 14 letters from Pushpa Sales and did not even bother to reply. The first letter was written by Pushpa Sales supplier Manish Bhandari on April 6, 2017. He wrote to the Chief Minister and the Health Minister, asking for clearance of his dues and said he would be forced to stop supplies if he does not get his payment. The authorities did not pay the money because they wanted a higher commission. I have always said that it was a man-made massacre," he explained.
Khan disclosed that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had called him on August 13 and said, "Tu cylinder laaya tha, tujhe dekhta hun...(you got the cylinder, I will see you..."
"These words changed my life. Since then, I feel I was made a scapegoat by the Yogi Adityanath government just to save the people who were the real culprits of the tragedy. We all tried hard but could not save those 70 children," he stated.
The doctor, whose suspension is yet to be revoked, said he was "happy and relieved" after getting a clean chit from the inquiry committee. "The whole family has suffered due to this episode," he said.