Gorakhpur hospital tragedy: Dr Kafeel Khan granted bail by Allahabad High Court

The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday granted bail to Dr Kafeel Khan, eight months are he was arrested in connection with the hospital tragedy in Gorakhpur in which sixty-three children had died due to shortage of oxygen.

Gorakhpur hospital tragedy: Dr Kafeel Khan granted bail by Allahabad High Court

LUCKNOW: The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday granted bail to Dr Kafeel Khan, eight months are he was arrested in connection with the hospital tragedy in Gorakhpur in which sixty-three children had died due to shortage of oxygen.

Khan is among those accused in the BRD Medical College case involving death of 63 children last August. He was earlier brought to district hospital for medical checkup after his wife alleged that her husband was being denied medical care.

The district hospital's cardiologist Dr KK Shahi tested his blood pressure, carried out other tests and advised him to undergo complete lipid profile test to ascertain risks of heart ailments.

After the tests, the police tried to take him away without any media interaction but on the way from cardiology department to the police vehicle, he told reporters present there that he was being framed. "It is complete administrative failure and I have been framed. When the budget was not released from higher level, where from the payment could have been made (for oxygen cylinders)?" he had asked.

Asked if the jail administration was providing medicines to him, he replied in the affirmative. "Yes, they are giving (medicines)," he said.

But before soon, the police bundled him into the vehicle and he was not able to answer as to why he did not get bail despite Manish Bhandari, the director of oxygen supplier firm Pushpa Sales, got the relief. Dr Kafeel's tests were to be carried out last week but due to lack of sufficient security forces, it was delayed.

When contacted, district jail superintendent Ramdhani said, "For last eight months, Dr Kafeel is in the district jail and he felt uneasiness and high blood pressure symptoms on April 12, when the officials called the jail's cardiologist for his tests and the doctor advised for ECHO test.

"But, due to lack of adequate security force, it got delayed. More policemen were provided yesterday from the police lines for his security but his tests were postponed because of the doctors' strike at the district hospital. Today Dr Kafeel was taken to the district hospital for the tests," he said.

Sixty-three children, including infants had died in August 2017 within four days due to disruption in supply of oxygen to medical oqing to non-payment of dues to the vendor.

The state-run medical college is the single largest government-aided facility in Gorakhpur which also attends to the patients from nearby areas like Maharajganj, Deoria, Kushinagar, Basti, Siddharthnagar, Sant Kabirnagar, Ballia, certain areas of Bihar like Gopalganj and Siwan, besides border areas in neighbouring Nepal.

Dr Khan's wife Dr Shabistan Khan had in a press conference alleged that her husband and other doctors were being denied medical care in jail. The district prison authorities, however, had rejected the charges.

In her press conference, Dr Shabistan had apprehended that the doctors lodged in the prison might be "killed. "She said her husband suffered a heart stroke on March 29 but was not given proper treatment."

"Former BRD Medical College principal, Dr Rajiv Mishra, is suffering from liver disease and diabetes but he is also not getting proper medical attention," she had claimed.

She had also said another accused, Dr Purnima Shukla, who is suffering from a hairline fracture, was also not getting the requisite medical attention.

"I met Dr Rajiv. He has turned pale and lost weight. My husband has also lost weight and they need good treatment," she said.

"Over eight months have passed but no justice has been delivered," she had said.

She said the doctors were being made scapegoats for the tragedy while the "big fish" were responsible for the tragedy as the state government's medical department had not released the fund to the company supplying oxygen cylinders to the hospital.

The jail's senior superintendent had said Purnima Shukla hurt herself when she slipped while going to the bathroom, and was given medical treatment. "The condition of Dr Rajiv and Dr Purnima is improving," he had said.

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