Hyderabad: Dr Kafeel Khan, who was embroiled in the August 2017 Gorakhpur hospital incident controversy in which 63 children died, said that he will win if he contests from the Gorakhpur assembly seat in the upcoming state polls in Uttar Pradesh. The seat is a bastion of the current chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ajay Singh Bisht, aka Yogi Adityanath.
“If I contest from Gorakhpur, it will be a bipolar fight. Chandrashekhar Azad (from Bhim Army) is my friend and I will also speak with Akhilesh bhai,” said Kafeel Khan, at the launch of his book here in Hyderabad on Thursday. His book, titled ‘The Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy, A Doctor’s Memoir of a Deadly Medical Crisis’ speaks about the 2017 incident at the BRD Medical College, wherein 63 children died due to an oxygen shortage.
”COVID-19 only exposed the already collapsed Indian medical healthcare system. I have started my book with the Allahabad High Court judgement which says that the oxygen shortage was a genocide,” said Dr Kafeel. He added that the entire saga of him getting suspended, then getting arrested later over a speech at the Aligarh Muslim University and finally getting terminated from service, transpired as he was made a scapegoat.
“The hospital became like Peepli Live (movie). You could see the vans and everyone could see the mismanagement. At the same time, there was a conspiracy to dislodge our honourable CM Yogi Adityanath. When everyone was asking why 63 kids died, Siddarth Nath Singh (BJP minister) gave an insensitive statement saying that in 2016 and that children keep dying,” Dr Kafeel Khan said.
He claimed that the entire episode was essentially linked to an alleged conspiracy to remove Yogi. “And they needed a scapegoat. When I was called (by Yogi) I thought they would pat my back. However, the chief minister was fuming, flushed and angry. He said, ’Toh tu Dr Kafeel hai!’. That is when I was surprised, as he addressed me with ’tu’, Kafeel Khan recalled at the book release.
He added that when he was punished initially by the UP government, he was charged with stealing oxygen cylinders. ”There are some photos of the 150 feet oxygen tank. It can hold around 5 lakh litres of oxygen. The person running the show from ’Aapki Adalat’ said I used to steal the tank. The 150 feet tank on my back! And the government also believed it and then charged me with the same,” Kafeel Khan narrated while recalling the entire saga.
He added that his subsequent imprisonment broke his family, both mentally and financially. “They brought my mother down to the streets. My mother’s and wife’s jewels also had to be sold for court cases. Even after getting a clean chit from the High Court, they terminated me,” the doctor stated.
He added that the government’s termination notice says that he tried to save children and that he was not involved in any corruption. “But still they say that I am being removed because I was involved in private practice in 2014, the time I wasn’t even employed at the government-run hospital. How does it matter what I was doing back then? Every institution has been taken over by the divisive ideology,” Kafeel Khan said.
“I want to share something with all of you. Yogi is not going to come back to power,” he concluded.