Gorakhpur tragedy: FIR filed against 'scapegoat' Dr Kafeel Khan
A FIR was filed on Thursday against Dr Kafeel Khan and seven others in connection with the death of infants at Gorakhpur's BRD hospital. Khan was the head of the encephalitis ward and an assistant professor at the Pediatric department of the hospital, and was sacked by the government after the death of children made headlines.
A FIR against the director of the firm responsible for supplying the oxygen to BRD hospital has also been filed. Although the final report on the Gorakhpur tragedy is yet to be submitted, there were reports suggesting that the deaths took place due oxygen shortage.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday night ordered for action against half-a-dozen hospital staff and Pushpa Sales Pvt Ltd, the firm that had cut off oxygen supply allegedly over non-payment of dues.
A hero or a scapegoat?
Dr Khan was sacked for "dereliction of duty" and "carrying out private practice" while employed with the BRD hospital. It was alleged that he ran a 50-bed children's hospital called Medispring Hospital and Research Centre in Gorakhpur.
On the intervening night of August 10 and 11, when most deaths took place at BRD hospital, Dr Khan is said to have arranged oxygen cylinders from Medispring hospital to save as many children as possible.
Reports say that he spent his own money to procure and transport oxygen cylinders to BRD hospital, which had run out of oxygen supply.
The authorities have levelled two serious charges at Dr Khan. One is related to sourcing oxygen cylinders from his private hospital and other is how can he run a private practice while being employed at a government hospital.
Dr Khan may have broken rules on that unfateful night, but did his effort not save the lives of infants. The death toll could have been much higher had he not resorted to what he did. He may have flouted rules, but it was the question of saving lives.
A report by News 18 quotes a Sashastra Seema Bal officer as saying that Dr Khan came to DIG SSB and requested for a truck so that oxygen cylinders could be collected from various locations and be taken to the medical college.
Now that a FIR has been filed, it remains to be seen if his noble intentions would outweigh his mistake of flouting rules.