New Delhi: Dr Kafeel Khan, who was suspended and arrested after the deaths of 63 children in the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur in 2017, was cleared of all charges on Friday. A state government report submitted to Uttar Pradesh’s medical education department has absolved Khan of the charges.

The 15-page report does not hold Khan guilty of ‘medical negligence’ and says that he had made all efforts to control the situation when the hospital was dealing with oxygen shortage for 54 hours between August 10 and 11, 2017. The investigation report, stated that Khan was not the nodal medical officer in-charge of the Encephalitis Ward at BRD Hospital and that the documents contesting the same provided by the Department were “inadequate and inconsistent.”

Furthermore, it clarifies that Khan had informed his seniors of the oxygen shortage, providing the inquiry officer with call details of the same and also presenting proof of providing seven oxygen cylinders in his personal capacity, on the night of the tragedy.

Reacting over this, Khan posted a video message on Twitter and demanded an apology from Yogi Adityanath-led UP government. “The tag of murderer, infamous qatil (murderer) Dr Kafeel has been removed. Those parents who lost their infants are still waiting for the justice. I demand that government should apologise and give compensation to the victim families”, Khan said.

He also blamed the state government for keeping him in the dark about being absolved of the allegations made against him for around five months. “While the government has not been able to pin down the actual culprit yet, I have been made the scapegoat. The report was not sent to me in all these months. Now, the Medical Education Department has asked me to come forth to present my case on the private practice issue, which is not even related to the tragedy,” he said.

“The government should tender an apology, provide victims with compensation and get the incident probed by the CBI,” he added.

The Congress party also hit out at Yogi government and asked if they pin the blame on someone else or finally accept its role in the death of 63 children?  “Now that Dr Kafeel Khan has been absolved of any wrong doing in the Gorakhpur tragedy, will the UP government pin the blame on someone else or finally accept its neglect and role in the death of 63 children due to lack of oxygen?” Congress party wrote on its official Twitter handle.

Backdrop

Khan was accused of corruption and medical negligence, and was suspended after 63 deaths in Yogi Adityanath’s home turf. Khan has spent nine months behind the bars for the charges he is now absolved of. He was also accused of keeping the then newly formed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state in dark about lack of oxygen supply in the hospital.

(With inputs from agencies)