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Gorakhpur tragedy: The past of Dr Kafeel Khan

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Gorakhpur: More than 20 days after the death of children at BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur, allegedly because of oxygen shortage, Dr Kafeel Khan was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police Special Task Force from a village in Sahjanwa locality of Gorakhpur, yesterday morning. Khan, who has been suspended from the hospital, had a non-bailable warrant against him, along with six others.

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You would be surprise to know that the arrest marked the third time Khan has had a run-in with the law, with two previous cases later closed. It is worthwhile mentioning that the doctor was in-charge of Ward No. 100, the paediatric section where the deaths happened, and was at first hailed for giving money from his pocket to purchase oxygen cylinders as parents panicked.

With regard to the allegations the doctor is since fighting are of impersonating in an exam and of rape, of giving a wrong affidavit to the Chief Medical Officer of Gorakhpur, and of running a private clinic.

If sources are to be believed, the charge of submitting a wrong affidavit was made at the time of an investigation by the Chief Secretary, but it is not clear as to what this affidavit was for.

The first case against him dates eight years back. On September 27, 2009, according to the Delhi Police, the principal of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Janakpuri, complained that at the time of the National Board of Examinations held to test Indian nationals with foreign medical qualifications, Kafeel Ahmed Khan, then a medical student at Manipal University, was found to be impersonating Dr Vijay Kumar. Other such cases of impersonations were also caught, with admit cards not matching persons writing the examination.

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Shalini Singh, SHO, Mahila Police Station, said the investigation was conducted by the City Police Station and confirmed that a final report had been filed in the case in 2015 itself.

The son of a former Public Works Department executive engineer, Khan comes from a family of “zamindars (landlords)” on his maternal side, who claim to own large plots of land in Rustampur area of Gorakhpur. The family was proud of Khan for being the first doctor in their clan, and his cousins helped him set up a clinic in Rustampur when he returned to Gorakhpur in 2013 after finishing his post-graduation. It came up at the site of a school, and was later upgraded to a nine-bed hospital called ‘Medi-Spring’.

Khan’s wife is a dentist, and the family says the two had a baby girl six months ago. Since August 12, after news broke of the children dying at BRD Medical College allegedly due to oxygen shortage, both the hospital and a medical store owned by the family next to it have been shut.


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