Uttar Pradesh paediatrician Kafeel Khan on Sunday claimed that Bharatiya Janata Party MP Kamlesh Paswan was involved in an attack on his brother Kashif Jameel in Gorakhpur’s Durgabadi area on June 10. Khan was arrested in connection with the death of 63 children in a hospital in Gorakhpur last August. He was released on bail in April.
“BJP MP Kamlesh Paswan and Satish Nangalia, owner of Baldev plaza, hired shooters for this,” Khan told ANI. “Paswan has no personal enmity with my brother. My uncle has a piece of land which Kamlesh and Satish encroached upon in February. [An] FIR was lodged and they had sought a stay order by the High Court on the arrests.”
He also demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the attack. “We demand a CBI investigation or that a High Court judge investigate this case,” Khan told the Hindustan Times. “We don’t want this to be investigated by the Uttar Pradesh Police.”
The police have not yet found any motive for the attack. “It was promised that the culprits will be nabbed within 48 hours,” Khan told ANI. “It has been a week now but no action has been taken yet, no arrests have been made yet.”
Paswan refuted Khan’s charges and claimed that he was ready for any investigation. He added that he would file a defamation case against the doctor.
“Charges levelled against me by Dr Kafeel [Khan], who himself is a controversial person, are totally baseless and an attempt to come into limelight by accusing a politician like me,” Paswan said, according to the Hindustan Times.
“Ever since Congress President Rahul Gandhi extended support to him, he has started accusing us in a planned manner,” Paswan said. Gandhi had offered his support to Khan in a letter saying that the attacks on individuals “speaking up against the administration in Uttar Pradesh is unparalleled”, according to The Indian Express.
Sixty-three children suffocated to death at Baba Raghav Das Medical College and Hospital in August due to lack of oxygen. Pushpa Sales, the company contracted to supply liquid oxygen, had cut off supply reportedly after its repeated reminders to the state-run hospital to pay dues of approximately Rs 65 lakh went unheard.
In the wake of the tragedy, Kafeel Khan was praised after media reports said that he had saved more than 100 children by collecting oxygen cylinders from other nursing homes and paying for them out of his own pocket when the supply was disrupted. He was in charge of the acute encephalitis syndrome ward.
After the state government said the children died of encephalitis, the police arrested Khan on charges of attempt to murder and corruption. Khan was in prison for eight months and finally got bail days after his family released a 10-page letter he wrote from jail, in which he claimed he was being made a scapegoat in the case.