New Delhi: Suspended paediatrician Kafeel Khan, who has been absolved of charges of medical negligence and corruption in connection with the Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das (BRD) hospital tragedy of 2017, on Saturday demanded he be reinstated with due honour.
Addressing mediapersons at the Press Club of India in New Delhi, he reiterated the Uttar Pradesh government should apologise to the families of the children who died and provide compensation to the kin.
"The departmental inquiry has shown that I did not do any medical negligence or indulge in any corruption...that tag of 'murderer Kafeel' and infamous doctor Kafeel is off my head now," he said. "I demand that I should be reinstated in my job with due honour and a CBI inquiry should be conducted into the case or a court-monitored probe outside the Uttar Pradesh," he said.
About 30 children had died at the hospital during the night of 10 August, 2017 and 34 more over the next few days, officials had then said. Many of the infants died allegedly because of disruption in oxygen supply on the night of 10 August due to pending payments to the supplier, a charge refuted by the state government.
Khan was accused of negligence and corruption and was suspended and subsequently arrested following the outrage over the deaths at the BRD Medical College. His suspension is yet to be revoked.
An advisor to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, however, said on Friday that the inquiry has not disproved the charge that the doctor also ran a private practice.
"It is not right to say that Dr Kafeel has got a clean chit in the departmental inquiry. He has made a wrongful conclusion of the report," Mrityunjay Kumar had said in a statement.
Khan during the press conference argued, "I joined UP government service from 8 August, 2016. How did it matter what I did before that". Asked if he ran a private practice before that, he said, "Yes from 2013-2016, but it has no connection with the Gorakhpur case or my employment with the UP government."
Khan said he had rushed to the hospital in an effort to save lives of innocent children, and managed to arrange 500 cylinders and the inquiry has found that I did no medical negligence. The government had maintained that the children died due to different illnesses, including Japanese encephalitis, and there was no shortage of oxygen.
Asked about his demands, Khan said, "Now the government should accept that there was (a lack of) oxygen supply and apologise to the family of those children who died, and offer compensation to their families."
The doctor, who has been offering voluntary service through camps in various places, including Muzaffarpur and Assam, said, "I will continue to serve people and my fight will continue till those children who died in Gorakhpur get justice."
Asked if he felt redeemed after being absolved of the two charges, he said, "My daughter was little when I got arrested and she had learned to walk when I was released. I missed seeing that transition...but I am happy that the tag of 'infamous Kafeel Khan' is off my head now".
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Updated Date: Sep 28, 2019 22:58:21 IST