Scapegoat? Paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan given clean chit after 2 years of BRD Tragedy
LUCKNOW: Paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan, who had become the scapegoat for the mournful incident where as many as 63 infant deaths were reported from the Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College within four days due to the shortage of oxygen; has now been absolved all the charges against him.
Dr Khan was suspended following the death of children in the hospital in August 2017.
The doctor was charged with medical negligence, corruption and not performing his duty to the fullest on that tragic day. Dr Kafeel had spent nine months behind bars for the charges of which he has now been absolved of on the basis of the departmental inquiry report.
Investigating Officer of the case, Principal Secretary, Stamp and Registration, Himanshu Kumar, said that Dr Khan has been given a clean chit in the case.
The infants had died allegedly because of disruption in oxygen supply due to pending payments to the supplier, a charge stoutly refuted by the state government. The government has maintained that the children died due to different illnesses, including Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and there was no shortage of oxygen.
Dr Khan told PTI that "Principal, BRD Medical College, Ganesh Kumar gave me the UP Government letter. It clearly describes that I am free from charges of medical negligence, corruption and not performing duty on that fateful day when around 70 children lost their lives at BRD Medical College Hospital". "My bail order of Allahabad Court of April 25, 2018, confirmed that I was not part of the tendering process of oxygen supply and also there is no material on record which proves my medical negligence," he said. Kumar said, "It is a procedure that Government letters and orders are handed over in person under which the letter was given to Dr Kafeel Khan on Thursday".
As per the investigation report, Dr Khan was neither the nodal medical officer in charge of encephalitis wards at BRD nor documents contesting the same provided by the department were adequate and consistent.
The report also states that Dr Khan was not involved in the process of allotting tenders for oxygen supply amounting to corruption, or of medical negligence on his part on the day of the tragedy. The report also mentions that Dr Khan informed seniors about shortage of oxygen supply and arranged seven oxygen cylinders on the night of August 10-11, 2017.
Dr Khan said he will hold a press conference in Delhi and ask CM Yogi Adityanath as to why his suspension has not been revoked so far. "I have got the clean chit now. The question arises as to who killed the 70 children," he said.
The inquiry report was forwarded to the doctor recently. However, the letter handed over to him was dated April 18.
The report was submitted on April 18 by investigating officer Himanshu Kumar, principal secretary (stamps & registration department), to UP's medical education department.
On this, Dr Kafeel has blamed the government for keeping him in the dark for five months.
Out on bail, Dr Khan continues to be suspended from the institute. He has demanded a CBI probe into the incident.
"While the government has not been able to pin down the actual culprit yet, I have been made the scapegoat. The report was not sent to me in all these months. Now, the Medical Education Department has asked me to come forth to present my case on the private practice issue, which is not even related to the tragedy," Dr Khan said in statement released earlier.
"The government should tender an apology, provide victims with compensation and get the incident probed by the CBI," he added.
Those parents who lost their infants are still waiting for the justice.I demand that government should apologize and give compensation to the victim families.@PTI_News @TimesNow @myogiadityanath @narendramodi @ndtv @ravishndtv @abhisar_sharma @yadavakhilesh @RahulGandhi @UN pic.twitter.com/WaTwQSCUuZ
— Dr kafeel khan (@drkafeelkhan) September 27, 2019
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the Indian Medical Association (IMA) had written to PM Modi to revoke the suspension of Dr Khan.