Gorakhpur tragedy: Doctor Kafeel Khan held while trying to flee to Nepal

The Asian Age.  | Amita Verma

India, All India

Dr Khan was removed over allegations that he was involved in stealing oxygen cylinders from the hospital.

Kafeel Khan

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) on Saturday arrested Dr Kafeel Khan, nodal officer of the department of pediatrics of BRD Medical College, from Gorakhpur in connection with the death of 30 children in two days at the college hospital last month. Dr Khan, who was removed from his post after the incident, was arrested just before he was allegedly trying to flee to Nepal, police said.

“He was arrested by the STF from the outskirts of Gorakhpur," said SSP Anirudh Sidhartha Pankaj. This is the third arrest related to deaths of children in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College. Six other accused, against whom non-bailable warrants were issued on Friday, remain at large.

Following the death of 30 children on August 10 and 11, cases were registered under various sections of the IPC, Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Medical Council Act. Dr Khan was removed over allegations that he was involved in stealing oxygen cylinders from the hospital for his private clinic.

It was also found that he was hand-in-glove with suspended BRD principal Dr Rajiv Mishra. Dr Mishra was accused of sitting over  payments for the vendor supplying oxygen to hospital, police said. Dr Khan’s arrest comes after the arrest of Dr Mishra and his wife Dr Purnima Shukla on August 29 from Kanpur. The doctor couple were later sent to judicial custody by a court.

Earlier on Friday, a court in Gorakhpur had issued non-bailable warrants (NBW) against seven people including Dr Khan. Investigating officer Abhishek Singh told reporters that additional sessions judge Shivanand Singh had issued the NBW against seven of the nine people named in the FIR.

Besides Dr Khan, warrants were issued against anaesthetist Dr Satish Kumar, pharmacist Gajanan Jaiswal, accountant Sudhir Pandey, assistant clerk Sanjay Kumar Tripathi and gas suppliers Uday Pratap Singh and Manish Bhandari. A probe committee headed by Chief Secretary Rajiv Kumar had indicted nine persons for negligence.