The Uttar Pradesh government has extended Dr. Kafeel Khan’s detention under the National Security Act (NSA) for another 3 months, as per the state Home Department order dated August 4. Khan was arrested on January 29, 2020, and has been in custody since then.
Khan was detained for allegedly making an inflammatory speech at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) campus during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on December 10, 2019. He was booked for promoting enmity on religious grounds under section 153A of the Indian Penal Code and was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court on February 10 but was not released by jail authorities. His family even approached a court in Aligarh claiming contempt of the High Court order and accordingly a fresh release order was granted but before the same could be executed, he was charged under the NSA on February 13 on the orders of the Aligarh District Magistrate.
Thereafter, the case under NSA was considered by the advisory council which said in its report that there were “enough reasons” to keep Khan detained under NSA. The section 10 of the NSA requires the government to place before the Advisory council any detention order within 3 weeks.
Hence, on May 6, Khan’s detention was extended for further 3 months, which was to end on August 6. Before the detention order could expire, the August 4 order was made, thus extending his detention for another 3 months, until November.
This order comes amidst a habeas corpus petition filed on behalf of Khan at the Allahabad High Court which is pending hearing. The Supreme Court directed the High Court, on August 12, to expeditiously dispose of the petition, possibly within 15 days.
Khan was also arrested back in 2017 when in Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College around 60 children had lost their lives due to lack of oxygen cylinders, but two years later, a government probe cleared him of all major charges.
The Home Department order may be read here.