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Dr Kafeel Khan, In-Charge Of Encephalitis Ward At Gorakhpur Hospital, Arrested

An enquiry found him guilty of not following norms of the Indian Medical Council.

02/09/2017 11:25 AM IST | Updated 02/09/2017 11:25 AM IST
Cathal McNaughton / Reuters
Children are seen in the Intensive care unit in the Baba Raghav Das hospital in Gorakhpur district, India August 13, 2017. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

Dr Kafeel Ahmed Khan, in-charge of the encephalitis ward at BRD Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, has been arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force, according to agencies.

Six days ago Dr Khan was suspended from duty after an FIR was lodged against him and eight others on 24 August holding them responsible for the deaths of over 60 children at the hospital in less than a week earlier last month.

Apart from him, hospital principal Dr Rajeev Mishra, his wife Dr Purnima Shukla, Dr Satish Kumar (head of anesthesia), chief pharmacist Gajanan Jaiswal and clerks Uday Pratap Sharma, Sanjay Kumar Tripathi and Sudhir Kumar Pandey were also named in the charges, as The Indian Express reported.

Soon after the deaths of the children became public, Dr Khan was hailed by the media for going out of his way to save his patients. He reportedly not only drove around Gorakhpur collecting oxygen cylinders, when the supply was running low, but also paid out of his own pocket to procure fresh supplies.

Accused of dereliction of duty by his employers and trolled on social media for his religious identity, Dr Khan claimed he was Indian first and had only carried out his responsibility as a physician, responding to the smear campaign on social media.

However, an enquiry committee later found him guilty of not following standard norms set by the Indian Medical Council. He was accused of taking leave without following protocol on 11 August, the day oxygen supply started facing a shortage, and not informing his superiors, as overseeing the supply department, of the crisis in proper time.

On Friday, non-bailable warrants were issued against seven of the nine people named in the FIR. Mishra and his wife Shukla were sent to 14-day judicial custody.

As many as 1304 children have died at BRD hospital this year, the number reaching as high as 415 in the month of August.

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