It was cheering to see #ReleaseOurDrKafeel become the top twitter trend yesterday. Over one lakh tweets in four hours indicated the intensity of the storm. The campaign for Twitter storm demanding the release of Gorakhpur paediatrician Kafeel khan had been announced on Saturday by members of the All India Students Association, with calls to observe a “National Protest Day” against the “witch-hunting of activists” and “criminalizing dissent”. The message was a straightforward tweet with the hashtag from 6 pm on Sunday to intensify the message. The campaign also called for the release of all “political prisoners”.
Kafeel khan was booked since January 29 after delivering an inflammatory speech during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in December. The protest was deemed provocative by the UP Government, which booked him under the National Security Act (NSA) hours after he had got bail in the case. Detention under NSA allows the state to detain a person for up to 12 months, which can be further extended if the state finds “new evidence”.
Dr Kafeel is one of the few people of our society who are working selflessly for the people, despite being repeatedly hunted by UP Government. He writes a letter to the Prime Minister concerning the state preparedness to tackle the biggest threat India is facing in the form of COVID-19 and offered his genuine help. Such warriors should be in the hospital working for people rather than in jail.