The Uttar Pradesh Police arrested Dr Kafeel Khan, a former paediatrician at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College and Hospital in Gorakhpur, on Wednesday night for allegedly making inflammatory remarks during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act at the Aligarh Muslim University in December, the Hindustan Times reported. Dr Khan was supposed to be present at the “Mumbai Bagh” protest in Mumbai Central on Thursday. His brother Adeel Khan said he was arrested at the Mumbai airport after he had landed there from Patna.
Khan allegedly made a provocative speech during an “Open Talk” event at AMU during a protest on December 12. Psephologist Yogendra Yadav was the other speaker at the event.
Inspector General of Police (Special Task Force) Amitabh Yash confirmed that Dr Khan was arrested for making objectionable statements at the college. The first information report was registered under Section 153-A of the Indian Penal Code for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion.
“Dr Kafeel said through the Citizenship Amendment Act, ‘we are giving employment in our homes to thieves who are stealing in our neighbourhood’,” the FIR said, according to The Hindu. “Dr Kafeel said in his speech that Mota bhai [Union Home Minister Amit Shah] teaches us to become Hindu or Muslim but not human beings.” The FIR also alleged that Dr Khan said in his speech that in schools run by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, it is taught that “people with beards” are terrorists.
Dr Khan was a paediatrician at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College and Hospital in Gorakhpur, when 63 children died in 2017 due to lack of oxygen. He was suspended from his post, and jailed for nine months after a criminal case of medical negligence, corruption and dereliction of duty was filed against him. But an Uttar Pradesh government inquiry last year cleared him of all charges and lauded his actions to save lives during the crisis.
However, in October last year, the Uttar Pradesh government began a new departmental inquiry against Dr Khan for spreading incorrect information about the probe report and for making “anti-government” remarks during his suspension. The government also claimed that Dr Khan “caused panic” after he allegedly forcefully entered the paediatric department of the Bahraich district hospital on September 22 last year.