Dr Kafeel Khan, a former paediatrician at the centre of a controversy at a hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur town, was granted bail by a court in Aligarh district on Monday, his family said. The relief for the doctor came almost two weeks after he was arrested by the state police from Mumbai airport for allegedly making inflammatory remarks during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act at Aligarh Muslim University in December.
The first information report was registered under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with 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 claimed. “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 police had also alleged that Khan claimed that schools run by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh taught students that “people with beards” are terrorists.
Khan was practising at Baba Raghav Das Medical College and Hospital in Gorakhpur when 63 children died in 2017 because of lack of oxygen. He was suspended, and jailed for nine months after a criminal case of medical negligence, corruption and dereliction of duty was filed. But a government inquiry last year cleared him of all charges, and lauded him for saving lives during the crisis.
However, in October, the Uttar Pradesh government began a new departmental inquiry against Khan for spreading incorrect information about the inquiry report and for making “anti-government” remarks during his suspension. The government also claimed that the doctor had “caused panic” the month before by allegedly entering the paediatric department of Bahraich district hospital forcefully.