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This is a letter by Dr. Kafeel Khan, whose sole "crime" was trying to prevent deaths from deprivation of oxygen. He was arrested and has now spent 8 months in jail without bail for little reason more than the state needing a scapegoat for its own failures.

8MS, IN JAIL WITHOUT BAIL

AM I REALLY GUILTY?

I cherished each moment. Every scene is still alive like it is happening right now in front of my eyes, even after 8 months of unbearable torture, humiliation behind the bars. Sometime I asked myself am I really guilty? And the answer pop out from the core of my heart

No, no - A Big NO.

The moment I got that WhatsApp message on that 10th August 17 fateful night, I did everything a doctor, a father, a responsible CITIZEN OF INDIA would/should do. I tried to save each and every life who was in danger due to sudden stoppage of liquid oxygen. I did my level best to save those innocent kids who were dying because of lack of oxygen.

I frantically called everyone,
I begged, I talked, I ran,
I drove, I ordered, I yelled,
I screamed, I consoled, I counselled,
I spent, I borrowed, I cried
I did all what is humanly possible.

I called my Head of the Department, my colleagues, Principal BRD, Acting Principal BRD, DM GKP, AD Health GKP, CMS/SIC GKP, CMS/SIC BRD MC informed them about the grave situation arising due to sudden stoppage of liquid oxygen and how kids life are in danger due to lack of oxygen supply. [I have all the call records]

I begged gas suppliers MODI GAS, BALA JI, Imperial GAS, Mayur Gas Agency, All the hospitals around BRD medical college afterr arranging their contact No - for jumbo cylinders to save hundreds of life of innocent kids.

I paid them cash and assured them will pay rest on delivery. [We arranged 250 cylinders/day until liquid oxygen tank arrived. One jumbo cylinder cost 216/- Rs]

I ran from one Qubical to another, from ward 100 to ward 12 to Emergency Ward. From point of oxygen supply to point of delivery to make sure uninterrupted oxygen delivery.

I drove to get cylinder from nearby Hospitals in my car. When I realized that was not sufficient I drove to SSB and met its DIG and explained him the unprecedented situation. Their response was very quick and supporting. They arranged big truck and group of soldiers to carry supply cylinders from BRD to Gas Agency, filled it, brought to BRD and ran again to refill. They worked for continuous 48 hours.

Their spirit boost ours. I salute SSB and very thankful for their help.

JAI HIND

I spoke to my junior/senior doctors, I ordered my staff. Don't get panic, don't be disheartened, do not get angry with agitated parents, do not take brake - we had to work as a team to treat efficiently to save every life.

I consoled grieving parents who had lost their kids, I counselled those agitated parents who were getting angry after losing their kids. There was so much chaos. I explained to them liquid O2 is finished, but we are trying to make it with jumbo oxygen cylinders.

I yelled/screamed to everyone to focus on savings lives. I cried. Actually everyone in the team cried to see the havoc created by the Administrative failure to pay the dues to the liquid oxygen suppliers - resulting in such a grave situation.

We did not stop trying until liquid oxygen tank arrived around 1:30 am on 13-08-2017.

But my life turned upside down when CM Yogiji Maharaj arrived next morning on 13-08-17. He asked – so you are Dr Kafeel? You arranged cylinders?

I was like – yes sir.

He got angry – so you think by arranging cylinders, you became hero, I will see it.

Yogiji was angry because – how this incident came into the media. I swear to my Allah, I did not inform any media person that night. They were already there that night itself.

Then police started coming to our home – hounding, threatening, torturing my family. People warned they would kill me in an encounter. My family, my mother, my wife, my kids were so scared that I do not have words.

I surrendered to save my family from the humiliation, misery – thinking when I have not done anything wrong, I should get justice.

But numbers of days, weeks and months passed – August, 2017 to April, 2018. Holi came, Dussehra came, Christmas gone, New Year came, Diwali came – every date – Tareekh Par Tareekh (date after dates) hoping will get bail. Then we realised that judiciary is also working under pressure. (Even they acknowledged the same)

Sleeping on floor with more than 150 prisoners in a cramped barrack with millions of mosquito at night and thousands of flies in the day. Trying to swallow food to live, bath half naked in the field and sit in a toilet with broken door. Waiting for Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday to meet my family.

Life is hell, miserable not only for me but for my whole family. They had to run from one pillar to another – from police station to court, from Gorakhpur to Allahabad – in hope of justice. But all in vain.

My daughter whose first bithday I could not celebrate is now 1 year 7 months old. As a pediatrician, it is very painful, disheartening not to see his child to grow. As a pediatrician, I used to taught parents importance of milestones and myself do not know when my daughter started walking, speaking and running.

So now again that question haunts me – am I really guilty? No, no – NO.

I was on leave on 10th August 2017. (It was sanctioned by my HoD). Still, I rushed to do my duties – is that wrong?

They made me head of the department, vice chancellor of BRD, prabhari (in-charge) of 100-bed acute encephalitis syndrome (AEH) ward. I am a junior most doctor and joined only on 08-08-2016 as a permanent employee. I was working as nodal officer with NRHM and lecturer pediatrics. My whole work is to teach students, treat kids. I was nowhere involved with purchase/tender/order/maintenance/supply/payment of liquid oxygen/jumbo cylinders.

If Pushpa Sales (the official supplier) stopped liquid oxygen supply, how am I responsible for that? Even non medico could tell doctors’ work is to treat, not to buy oxygen.

The guilty are DM Gorakhpur, DGME (director general of medical education), principal secretary health education for not taking any action against 14 reminders sent by Pushpa Sales for its Rs 68 lakh dues.

It was a total administrative failure at higher level, they did not realise the gravity and just to save themselves, they made us scapegoat and put us behind the bars so that truth will remain inside Gorakhpur jail.

When Manish Bhandari (director of Pushpa Sales) got bail, we same same light that may be now we would also get justice and come out to live with my family and to serve again.

But No – we are still waiting.

Supreme Court says – bail is the right, prison is exception. This is a classical example of miscarriage of justice.

I hope time would come and I would be free with my family and my daughter. Truth will prevail. Justice would be served.

A helpless, broken heart father, husband, brother, son and friend

Dr Kafeel Khan

1

This is a transcript of the original hand written letter, which can be downloaded here:

Tarun Tejpal's letter to Investigating Officer Sunita Sawant

Dear ma'am

I have received, and read, the order relating to my bail as issued by the Sessions judge and I am shocked and distressed at an observation that suggests that you have complained of being threatened or intimidated by me.

This is so far from the truth as to be outrageous. I categorically state that I have never ever threatened you.  The fact is I have been impeccably cooperative with you and your team from the very beginning. I flew to Goa on receiving the summons, and surrendered myself to you at the crime branch office. Even though there are many reasons to doubt the bona fides of the FIR, I did not display any rancour or reluctance in dealing with you.

There is not a single query that was put to me in my 10 days of police custody that I did not answer. There was no line of inquiry that I stonewalled - even though very often they appeared to have little to do with the case registered against me, and were more in the nature of fishing expeditions.

In my 10 days of police custody I was interrogated by atleast 5 different officers, ranging from the Dy. SP to Inspectors , and not one of them can point to a single question that I left unanswered or a single moment in which I refused to cooperate.

Apart from this I willingly underwent 2 days of medical tests of every kind at the GMC Bambolim - and here again no doctor or officer can state that I did not fully cooperate. Unusually I was also asked to undertake a series of psychological examinations at the institute of psychiatry and human behaviour, which I gladly did, answering over a thousand questions over several hours.

In addition I presented and handed over my mobile phone to you on the first day itself.

I had a perfectly cordial relationship will all your officers and staff. Leave alone intimidation or threat, there is not a single harsh word that I uttered to any of the crime branch staff.

Alas, by stating what you have, falsely - about intimidation - you have reinforced my fear that I cannot expect an unprejudiced and fair investigation at your hands. That the fishing expeditions, the selective gathering of material and witnesses, is all of a piece, part of a process not aimed at arriving at the truth of the alleged event, but at trying to indict me no matter what the facts. It is evident that the false allegations of intimidation leveled against me, was merely a ploy to sabotage my chances for grant of bail, and the fact that in your reply to my bail application before the Sessions Court, the fact of such intimidation was not mentioned suggests that the same was an afterthought and in abrogation from the principles of fair play.

This apprehension of facts being twisted and misrepresented is aggravated by a suggestion that I heard in court that I had confessed to some parts of the crime. I was shocked when during the course of the argument on my bail application, the Prosecutor made a statement that I have admitted to my guilt or to the narration of events as has been put forth by the alleged victim during my interrogation. I reiterate that I was interrogated many times, by various officers of different levels and I, in no uncertain terms disputed each and every allegation leveled against me.

If there exists any other statement on record, the same is not my statement and is an act of manipulation or tampering.

I write this in sorrow, and in deep distress. I wish you had done honour to my trust and cooperation.

My regards,

TARUN

27th January 2014

Vasco

 

CC:   1. IGP, DIG, SP NORTH, DY SP SAMMY TAVARES

Bera Murder Appeal Partly Allowed

By Vijay Panjwani, Advocate.

Thursday May 3, 2012.

The murder appeal raised important issues:

(i)           of excessive incarceration than maximum permissible under  which accused appellants finally convicted by Supreme Court .

(ii)          indiscriminate use of Section 302 IPC prescribing capital sentence rather than 304-B IPC in a case of dowry death.

(iii)        no bail to mother in law continuously for 14 years and one month.

Lawyer appointed by supreme court to defend  neglected to file bail application on behalf of mother in law for many years.

Briefly the facts are that a young woman named Mayarani was married to Gokul in West Bengal. A part of the agreed dowry was satisfied at the time of marriage. Both families were residents of neighbouring villages and belonged  to weaker section of society.They worked as daily wagers. A few months after marriage  Mayarani’s  in-laws started taunting her about lack of dowry, at her inability to do household chores, and on her physical attributes. Mayarani was a large boned well fed fat woman. She was addressed to as ‘Bhondi’ a term used in Bengal for fat women.

In the third year in-laws patience ran out and the and demand for ‘arrears dowry’ became a daily routine but no physical violence was reported to any one. However, in-laws encouraged her to commit suicide. They said a fat woman must bring a fat dowry. Finally, unable to bear the mental torture Bhondi escaped to her parental home from where she was returned to her in-laws with promise to pay ‘arrears dowry’. Bhondi and her mother were abused and insulted. And four days later at 2 PM news reached Bhondi’s parents that she died of burn injuries at 6 AM in the morning.

The medical evidence showed the body was charred. No external injuries were found. All internal organs- liver, kidneys, viscera was intact. In such a situation the doctor failed to find injuries and wrote ‘no cause of death could be found’. The police stuck to its strange version that Bhondi was killed by strangulation  in the matrimonial home by in-laws and then taken out and her body burnt partially and brought back to matrimonial home. The forensic report and  burnt  items seized from the crime scene said some other story which was hidden but not so cleverly as to escape scrutiny in supreme court. The doubts once raised about the veracity of evidence do not go easily.

The prosecutor in supreme court  was unable to show from record evidence of ingredients to prove murder. The appellants/accused [thru vijay panjwani] were shown not to have committed   murder . In a plea bargaining appellants counsel suggested conversion of   murder  to a lesser conviction of dowry death. For reasons recorded  the supreme court set aside the high court  judgment  on muder with life imprisonment and convicted the accused/appellants under section 304-B for dowry death to sentence already undergone. Husband and father in law were on bail since 2006 after 8 years incarceration and mother in law 14 years imprisonment in Midnapore Jail. The fine was set aside and bail bonds of the male accused persons discharged.It is for readers to form an opinion how this category of family cases should be tried.

VIJAY PANJWANI

ADVOCATE

NEW-DELHI

Dt: 3-5-2012.