Gorakhpur Tragedy : Indian Medical Association urges PM Modi to revoke Dr Kafeel Khan's suspension & conduct investigation by Central agency

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Photo Credit: File photo ( for representational purpose)

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking revocation of an order suspending Uttar Pradesh-based pediatrician Kafeel Khan, an alleged accused in the death of infants at the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur in 2017. Stating that Dr Khan and his family have been struggling to survive since he was suspended, the doctors' body also sought withdrawal of all pending legal cases against him and demanded that the BRD Oxygen tragedy be investigated by central agencies. 

The IMA also drew attention of the PM towards the "stress and suffering that Dr Khan and his family were undergoing" for the past two years and urged him to compensate the suspended doctor. 

Many children, mostly infants, had died at the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur due to a disruption in oxygen supply over unpaid bills to the vendor, the IMA said, adding that "Dr Khan played a major role in saving the lives of the children" during the episode. 

"Unfortunately he has been implicated without proper evidence. The High Court of Allahabad has categorically stated that there is no evidence of medical negligence against Dr Kafeel Khan and he was not involved with the tendering of oxygen," the IMA said in its letter. 

It further said that according to a recent RTI, the government has accepted that there was shortage of liquid oxygen for 54 hours in BRD Medical College on Aug 10, 11 and 12 and Dr Khan had indeed arranged jumbo oxygen cylinders to save the children. 

Even in its affidavit to Allahabad High Court, the UP government has accepted the shortage of oxygen supply. The High court in its judgement on April 30, 2018, has observed that there indeed was abrupt disruption of liquid oxygen supply, the letter stated. 

A departmental enquiry report has clearly mentioned that the disruption happened due to non-payment of dues to the supplier and there is no evidence of medical negligence against Dr khan. 

Dr Khan was not involved with oxygen related tendering as well. He was the junior most consultant who went beyond his call of duty to save the dying children. The probe officer has also mentioned that charges of medical negligence and corruption against Dr Khan were without any substance, it said. 

"IMA identifies with Dr Kafeel Khan and proclaims solidarity with him in these difficult times. We request you to kindly further Dr khan's cause to help him get justice," the IMA said. 

"Dr Kafeel Khan's suspension may kindly be revoked at the earliest and he may be compensated. Kindly prevail on the government of Uttar Pradesh to withdraw all pending legal cases against Dr Kafeel Khan and BRD Oxygen Tragedy may be investigated by central agencies," it added.

Dr Kafeel Khan's work has been nationally acclaimed in the limelight of the tragedy when his emergency services and arrangement of gas cylinders has saved the lives of dozens of children. None of the charges levelled against him after his suspension could have been proved under the court of law. Dr Kafeel also carried out special screening and medical checkup camps in different districts of Bihar after the outbreak of different deaths due to fever in Muzaffarnagar Medical college.

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