Dr Kafeel Khan, suspended and jailed for his alleged role in the death of 60 children at Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College due to oxygen shortage in August 2017, has been absolved of the charges of medical negligence, corruption and dereliction of duty, in the departmental inquiry by the state government.
The report came on Thursday, and was handed over to him by the BRD officials, stating that Dr Khan was not the nodal officer of the encephalitis ward on the day of the incident. He did his best to save lives by arranging 500 jumbo oxygen cylinders in his personal capacity, despite being on leave.
The 15-page report however, does accuse Khan of being involved in private practice till August 2016.
Dr Kafeel Ahmad Khan was a pediatrician at the BRD Medical College. More than 60 children children died in just two days, between August 10 and 11 allegedly because of disruption in oxygen supply over unpaid bills to the vendor.
Khan was suspended on the accusation that he had failed to take prompt action or warn his superiors about the impending crisis despite knowing about the situation.
Two years after Khan was suspended from the hospital and spent nine months in jail for the charges that he has now been cleared of. Khan who is out on bail, continues to be suspended from the BRD Medical College. He has demanded a CBI inquiry of the case.
In a tweet Dr Khan said, “Those parents who lost their infants are still waiting for the justice.I demand that government should apologize and give compensation to the victim families.”
The investigating officer Himanshu Kumar, Principal Secretary (Stamps & Registration Department) had submitted the probe report into the deaths to the Medical Education Department on April 18, 2019. But the Uttar Pradesh government did not take any action on it, nor did it make the report public.
Khan has blamed the state government for keeping him in the dark about being absolved of the allegations made against him for around five months.
The report clarifies that Khan did inform his seniors of the oxygen shortage, providing the inquiry officer with call details of the same and also presenting proof of providing seven oxygen cylinders in his personal capacity, on the night of the tragedy.
The Gorakhpur tragedy became a major political issue for the Yogi Adityanath government two years back, as it was formed barely five months prior to the tragedy. The state government blamed Khan for the tragedy.