Medical fraternity rallies to #FreeDrKafeel as he languishes in jail during the pandemic

The medicos have said that the UP government is being vindictive towards Khan and using him as a scapegoat to hide its shortcomings


As the call to #FreeDrKafeel grows louder, the Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum (PMSF) has joined the cause in asking that Dr. Kafeel Khan be immediately released from prison. A statement issued by Dr. Harjit Singh Bhatti, National President of the PMSF read that the Uttar Pradesh government has been vindictive towards Khan.


It must be noted that Dr. Khan was suspended by the UP government in the case of the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur, where the lack of oxygen supply had taken the lives of more than 60 children. Dr. Khan was falsely accused in the case and forced to spend nine months in prison for alleged medical negligence. He was later given a clean-chit in the matter and acquitted in the case after a government-appointed inquiry.

However, he was arrested in December 2019 for his allegedly inflammatory statements during an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and has been languishing in jail ever since, after being booked under the stringent National Security Act (NSA).

The PMSF said that Dr. Kafeel Khan was known for his humanitarian work by organizing free health camps and providing his services free of cost to all needy patients. Many times, he also put his own life in danger to help others.

Even from prison, Khan had written a letter to PM Modi on March 19, offering help to fight the coronavirus infection, using the 20 years of experience he had in the medical field. In this letter, he had also provided a roadmap to fight the virus advising the government to “Increase the testing strength (1 in each district), isolation wards (1000 in each districts), opening of new ICUs, extensive training of the doctors/paramedics, support groups including AYUSH and private sectors, curb the rumors, avoid unscientific views and mobilize all resources as soon as possible.”

However, nobody paid heed to his request. Even though the Supreme Court ordered that prisons be decongested to curb the spread of coronavirus there, Dr. Khan, in another letter described the horrid conditions he and other inmates had to survive in, even during this time. “In a jail made for 534 inmates, there are 1,600 people kept with one barrack holding at least 100-125 of us. There are just 4-6 toilets,” Dr. Kafeel Khan wrote unveiling the torturous conditions inmates are subjected to even at the time of a pandemic.

In light of this and his continuous incarceration under stringent charges, the PMSF has asked the medical fraternity to join the movement to save Dr. Kafeel Khan and democracy. Many from the medical fraternity have now uploaded videos in support of Dr. Khan, urging the authorities to release him.









The call for his release has now gathered momentum as the hypocrisy of the government has come to light. On the one hand the government is hailing doctors for their work as frontline workers during the pandemic, but on the other is still being out on a witch hunt against doctors who expose the ills of the government.

It isn’t just Dr. Khan who has been harassed. In Visakhapatnam, a doctor was dragged and beaten by the police mercilessly, The Wire reported. This was the same doctor who had complained about the lack of PPE equipment and had been suspended in April, though the police claim that the two incidents weren’t related. State repression and police brutality in India has grown in the last few years. The perpetrators within the system continue to exploit with impunity while those cleared even by the law continue to languish behind bars.


Kafeel Khan describes prison to be ‘a living hell’ in letter from jail
Dr. Kafeel Khan arrested in Mumbai for remarks at anti-CAA rally in AMU
Dr Kafeel Khan still behind bars, wife Shabista appeals for release



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