Dr Kafeel Khan, a suspended paediatrician under the Uttar Pradesh government who got relief from the Supreme Court on Thursday, expressed deep satisfaction over the development on Friday, saying December 17 turned out to be an occasion of dual celebrations for him.
The Supreme Court refused to interfere with an Allahabad High Court verdict quashing the detention of Khan under the National Security Act (NSA) and ordering his immediate release, saying it is “a good judgment”.
Dr Khan’s brother got married on Thursday and the hearing in the top court was also scheduled on the same day, which caused a stressful situation for everyone in the family, he said.
However, celebrations broke out as soon as the court relief came his way.
“I do not know whether it was a coincidence or a deliberate act that the hearing was fixed on December 17, the day my brother was going to get married. The Uttar Pradesh government knew about my brother’s marriage. We were all under stress during the pre-wedding events,” Dr Khan told PTI from Delhi.
He said he was not able to sleep on Wednesday night and on Thursday morning, wore the sherwani he had bought for the wedding and went to the court.
“I did not know whether the petition will be dismissed or I will be sent behind bars straight from the court. I hugged my mother and left for the court. As soon as the petition was dismissed, I became emotional but controlled myself.
“Moments later, I placed a video call to my mother, wife and other family members, who were waiting impatiently. All of them started crying out of joy,” Dr Khan said.
He said it was an amazing day that brought dual happiness — the wedding of his brother and the Supreme Court order in his favour.
Dr Khan said it was the first occasion in three-and-a-half years when there was a celebration in the family.
“My family, be it my wife or my brother, has gone through a lot all this while. My brother was shot at in Gorakhpur in June 2018 while my wife remained engaged in handling matters related to me and taking care of our two kids,” he added.
Dr Khan said now, he is fighting for reinstatement in the service.
“I have written several letters to the government to reinstate me in service because I have been given clean chits in all nine inquiries against me and now, a 10th inquiry is going on. The government is also not accepting my resignation. I hold camps for people and will remain available to whoever needs me,” he said.
Asked whether he has a plan to join politics, Dr Khan, who is temporarily living in Delhi and Jaipur, said, “A doctor is always a doctor. What will happen in the future is not known.”
Dr Khan had hit the headlines after the 2017 tragedy at Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College, in which several children died due to a lack of oxygen cylinders.
Initially, he was hailed as a saviour for arranging emergency oxygen cylinders but later, faced action along with nine other doctors and staff members of the hospital, all of whom were released on bail subsequently.
A probe by the Uttar Pradesh government cleared Dr Khan of all major charges, prompting him to seek an apology from the state. Dr Khan had alleged that an institutional failure had led to the deaths of the children.
In its September 1 verdict, the Allahabad High Court quashed Dr Khan’s detention under the NSA and ordered his immediate release, saying his speech at the Aligarh Muslim University during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests did not promote hatred or violence and gave a call for national integrity.