Gorakhpur (UP), Aug 5 (IANS) Jailed paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan’s wife Dr Shabista Khan has launched a campaign on the social media seeking support for her husband’s release.
The campaign was launched on the eve of the hearing of the Habeas Corpus plea in Allahabad high court.
The campaign, #DrKafeelKhanKoAzaadKaro, was trending on Twitter on Tuesday evening.
Shabista Khan, in a video message, urged people to come with her to run a campaign for release of her husband.
According to Kafeel’s brother Adeel Ahmad Khan, the Habeas Corpus plea has been filed by their mother Nuzhat Parveen.
The plea challenges the detention of Kafeel for four days before imposing the National Security Act (NSA) on him even after he secured bail in all the cases registered against him.
He said, “How can he disrupt the law and order situation during a pandemic when all schools and colleges are shut.”
Kafeel has been behind bars since January 29 after a speech he had delivered at Aligarh Muslim University during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests. The speech was deemed “provocative” by the UP government, which booked him under the NSA but hours after he had got bail in the case.
Detention under the NSA allows the state to detain a person for up to 12 months, which can be extended if the state finds “fresh evidence”.
Many political representatives across party lines also tweeted in Kafeel’s support. Bollywood actors Richa Chadha and Swara Bhasker lent their support with the hashtag #FreeDrKafeel.
While the campaign demanding Kafeel’s release has been a sustained one, he was in news recently after a letter in which he wrote about the pathetic conditions of the prison in Mathura where he is lodged, was shared on social media.
The four-page letter, purportedly written by him in June, spoke of the “hellish” conditions of his barracks, where 150 inmates were sharing a toilet.
Earlier, in March, he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting that he should be allowed to use his medical expertise to help in the fight against the pandemic. “I have conducted 103 free medical camps since out of jail after the BRD oxygen tragedy examining over 50,000 children/patients all over India. I feel I could be of some help in curtailing this disease,” he had written.
The death of nearly 60 children at the state-run BRD Hospital in Gorakhpur due to oxygen shortage in August 2017 had put Kafeel on the firing line of the state government.
He was charged with medical negligence and dereliction of duty but absolved of the charges in a departmental inquiry. He had spent nine months behind bars at that time.