The Uttar Pradesh Police have filed a case against suspended Gorakhpur hospital paediatrician Kafeel Khan following a complaint by a resident alleging that his book was being distributed to incite people against the government and create divisions in society, The Indian Express reported.
The first information report, registered at the Krishna Nagar police station in Lucknow, was filed against Khan and “four to five unidentified persons”. The case was filed based on a complaint by a man named Manish Shukla, who alleged that he overheard a conversation between “four to five people and someone on the phone”.
The police have invoked Sections 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery to make or transfer any valuable security or to receive money), 468 (forgery for cheating), 465 (forgery), 471 (using forged as genuine), 504 (insult to provoke breach of peace), 505 (statements causing mischief), 295 (defiling a place of worship to insult a religion), 295A (malicious acts to outrage religious feelings), and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integration) of the Indian Penal Code in the case.
According to Shukla, the people he overheard claimed that Khan had “secretly” got a book published and that the book was being surreptitiously distributed across the state.
Khan’s book, The Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy: A Doctor’s Memoir of a Deadly Medical Crisis, was published in December 2021. In the book, Khan recounted the experience of witnessing the deaths of 63 children in August 2017, when the Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur ran out of oxygen supply. He was head of the paediatric ward at the medical college.
On Monday, Khan said that the case against him may have been filed as a backlash after the Hindi film Jawan, because of “the scenes inspired from the Gorakhpur tragedy case”, The Quint reported.
He was suspended and jailed for nine months in 2017 on charges of medical negligence, corruption, and dereliction of duty. He was later granted bail by the Allahabad High Court in April 2018. The court observed that there was no proof of medical negligence against Khan.
In January 2020, the doctor was jailed under the National Security Act after the police booked him for making allegedly inflammatory remarks during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act at the Aligarh Muslim University. However, the Allahabad High Court revoked his detention order in September 2020 and ordered his release.
In November 2021, he was terminated from his services after the Uttar Pradesh government held him guilty for the tragedy in 2017.