The wife of Gorakhpur doctor Kafeel Khan on Monday wrote to the chief justice of Allahabad High Court claiming his life is in danger, and has requested protection for him, ANI reported. The Gorakhpur doctor was detained in February under the stringent National Security Act for allegedly making inflammatory comments during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act at the Aligarh Muslim University in December.

In her letter, Shabista Khan said that when she went to meet her husband in a jail in Mathura, she found him to be in an impoverished state. “He told me that when he was brought to the jail after being arrested, he was not given food for five days straight. The barrack he is staying in is very small and around 100-150 people have been lodged there,” she added. “His life might be in danger there.”

The letter, which is addressed to senior jail officials along with the chief justice of Allahabad High Court, also alleged that Kafeel Khan is being mentally tortured and subjected to inhuman behaviour in prison, The Times of India reported.

Demanding adequate security arrangements for her husband, Shabista Khan said she fears for her his life. She also urged authorities to segregate him from “active criminals” and shift him to a different barrack.

Kafeel Khan was arrested on January 29 and granted bail in the case by a court in Aligarh district on February 10. However, he was not released from the Mathura jail.

Kafeel 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.

A 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. “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 complaint also alleged that Khan said in his speech that in schools run by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, it is taught that “people with beards” are terrorists.

Kafeel 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.