LUCKNOW: After being incarcerated for nine months under the National Security Act (NSA), paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan walked to freedom from Mathura jail late on Tuesday night.
After his release, Dr Kafeel, while urging the Yogi government to restore his job so that he could serve the nation as a doctor, claimed that he was moving out of the state for sometime as he felt a threat to his life in UP.
Former leader of Congress legislature party and former MLA from Mathura Pradeep Mathur and Akeel Khan, brother of Kafeel Khan, were present at the time of his release from Mathura jail.
“I was jailed for no crime of mine as I was framed in a false, fictitious and baseless case. I am extremely relieved and have to extend gratitude to no one else but the judiciary for saving my life by passing such a brilliant order reflecting the misdeeds of the dispensation,” said Dr Kafeel while talking to The New Indian Express over phone. He said he feared for his life in prison as well.
Dr Kafeel’s release came through after the Allahabad High Court’s order. The court not only dropped the charges levelled under National Security Act, 1980, against the doctor but also called his detention illegal.
The High Court division bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh had observed: “We are having no hesitation in concluding that neither the detention of Dr Kafeel Khan under National Security Act, 1980 nor extension of the detention are sustainable in the eye of law.”
Claiming that he was harassed first by STF cops who were accusing him of trying to dislodge the government of the day while bringing him to UP from Mumbai, Kafeel said Mathura jail authorities also tortured him by depriving him of food, water and even toothpaste for the first five days (till February 3, 2020) of his incarceration.
The medico claimed that he was not going to his hometown Gorakhpur for now as he feared for his life. He said that he could be framed in another case if he remained in UP. Khan said the Uttar Pradesh government instead of doing ‘Raj Dharma’ was indulging in ‘Baal Hatth’ (obstinacy).
“I am moving out of UP for now. I shall be spending some quality and peaceful time with my family in some other state for some days. I have missed them so much during the last nine months. Even they have suffered a lot all this long,” he said.
On a sarcastic note, the medico took a jibe at the UP STF in a veiled reference to the Vikas Dubey encounter case, saying that he was grateful to the sleuths as they spared his life while bringing him from Maharashtra.
About his future plans, Dr Kafeel claimed that now he wanted to serve people affected by flood fury in different states. He wanted to hold medical camps as the receding flood water leaves behind a trail of communicable diseases like cholera, malaria, diarrhoea, dengue etc. He also expressed the desire to do some research to find an answer to the COVID-19 challenge. He claimed he had written a letter to the PM in this respect.
Dr Kafeel was jailed after being arrested by the UP STF at Mumbai airport on January 29, 2020 for allegedly making a provocative speech during an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest on the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) campus in December 2019.
After securing bail from the local court on February 10, 2020, Kafeel was not served the bail order till February12, 2020 and was slapped with the NSA by the Aligarh district magistrate on February 13, 2020 for his allegedly provocative speech. His detention under the NSA was extended by three months on May 12 and then again on August 4 for another three months.
Dr Kafeel, an assistant lecturer at BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur, was suspended after being accused of medical negligence in a case related to the death of around 70 children in a 72-hour period due to oxygen shortage in August 2017. He, along with eight other persons, was booked on August 22 and put under suspension. He spent about nine months in jail in connection with the case before he was granted bail on April 25, 2018 by the Allahabad High Court.