‘Was made scape­goat to shield real ac­cused’

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Nation - Anam.Aj­[email protected] times­group.com

New Delhi: Doc­tor Kafeel Khan’s jour­ney from a hero to a vil­lain was “swift”. He was a ju­nior doc­tor at Go­rakh­pur’s Baba Raghav Das med­i­cal col­lege in Au­gust 2017 when over 60 kids died there within two days due to al­leged lack of oxy­gen. He was held re­spon­si­ble for the deaths, sus­pended, vil­i­fied and im­pris­oned.

On Satur­day, he said he stood “vin­di­cated”. Ad­dress­ing me­di­a­peo­ple at the Press Club of In­dia, he re­ferred to a re­port by the then prin­ci­pal sec­re­tary Hi­man­shu Ku­mar that has ab­solved him of all ma­jor charges. Soon af­ter the tragedy, Khan was ac­cused of sev­eral things, in­clud­ing dere­lic­tion of duty, med­i­cal neg­li­gence and cor­rup­tion. The in­quiry re­port, sent to him on Thurs­day, gave Khan a clean chit when it came to the deaths, but held him guilty of “pri­vate prac­tice” even though he was em­ployed as a doc­tor in a govern­ment hos­pi­tal. It also said he had failed to in­form the govern­ment of his pri­vate prac­tice.

“The de­part­men­tal in­quiry has shown that I did not do any med­i­cal neg­li­gence or in­dulge in any cor­rup­tion. That tag of mur­derer Kafeel is off my head now,” he said. “The re­port is dated April 18, 2019 but it has been made pub­lic now,” he said, adding that he was made a “scape­goat” to “shield real ac­cused.”

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