The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has written to the Uttar Pradesh government urging the authorities to reconsider the three-year-old suspension of Dr Kafeel Khan.
Dr Kafeel, a paediatrician of the Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur, had been suspended in the wake of what has since been called the oxygen gas tragedy, which occurred in August 2017.
Other doctors, including the principal of the college, had also been suspended, but all barring Dr Kafeel has been reinstated.
The UP chapter of the IMA has addressed its letter to the minister for medical education requesting consideration of Dr Kafeel’s plight “with compassion and merit and also to consider regarding his suspension”.
“Thanking you in anticipation of a positive reply. The life, health and dignity of doctors and family is most important to us,” reads the letter drafted by the IMA’s state president and honorary secretary.
Dr Kafeel, who was released in September from the Mathura jail following the revocation of the National Security Act (NSA) charges against him in a Citizenship (Amendment) Act-related case, says he has till date written 25 letters to State authorities requesting them to revoke his suspension. The last three letters were written after the Allahabad High Court quashed the NSA charge against him, The Hindu reported.
Initially hailed as a hero, for trying to source oxygen cylinders and bring them to the hospital to save the children, he was later accused of corruption, medical negligence and dereliction of duty, after the entire case took a political turn, due to massive public outrage against the administration.
The Adityanath-led government suspended Dr Khan, claiming that he neither took any action nor warned his superiors about the issue despite being aware of the situation. Later, an FIR was registered against him and he was sent to jail for 9 months. Even after securing bail from the court, Dr Khan remained suspended from duty for 2 years.
In September 2019, after two years of hounding him for the crimes he never committed, the state government probe absolved Dr Khan of all charges as well as commended him for doing everything in his power to help save lives.
Dr Khan’s arrest has been highly controversial with many considering it as a witch hunt against him by the BJP-led UP government.