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The Story of False Accusations: 8 Months of Tragedy, Tyranny and Trauma

If the government does not have likings for you or you happen to work against the agenda of this fascist regime you may land yourself in Jail. Recent atrocities and crackdown on people like Dr. Kafeel Khan are mere examples.

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Allahabad High Court dropped NSA charges against Dr. Kafeel after 8 months of his custody. Allegedly, the system tormented him and family for months. He and his family have to suffer physical as well as mental stress and harassment due to false allegations put on him by the mainstream media and people.  When he had been arrested, STF interrogated him for 48 hours with “absurd” questions. He was accused of trying to topple the state government and that he had some kind of powder to kill people, had visited Japan, and so on. As mentioned in this recent interview after getting out of jail, he said that he was not given food or water for five days and was not even allowed to talk about Gorakhpur hospital in the prison.

He was given a terrorist like treatment inside the jail as he was booked for inciting hatred among communities while in reality he just talked about peace and harmony as well as the poor health condition of the nation. All the false charges were put on him and he was barred from medical practice. But while giving bail order the High Court pointed out that the speech under which he was arrested in no way threatens peace but gives a call for national integrity and unity among the citizens while depreciating any kind of violence. After being in jail for 8 months the Supreme Court has given the judgment in his favor and denied all the false accusations. Dr. Kafeel Khan deserves the apologies from the state police as well as the judiciary but we all know how possible is it, in this country. But the question which arises here, Is this the way the institution of the country will run now? To keep Khan in jail, the Uttar Pradesh police tried every trick in the book, including denying him records of the detention that would have allowed him to mount an effective judicial challenge. It took 7 months to understand a speech that speaks of ‘national integrity and unity among the citizens’.

Kafeel Khan with family. Picture Credit: Outlook India

I was going through interviews of Dr. Kafeel on various platforms. I am pained and traumatized after listening to this human who was forced to spend 200 ugly days behind bars with no fault of his own. While hearing Dr. Kafeel, any human will feel how unprivileged and unwanted Muslim life can be. He was booked under NSA and illegally detained. National Security Act has been invoked in this case where no real threat to public order has emerged. The courts took nine months to remedy detention that was clearly politically motivated and arbitrary. Even after getting bail from the court, the family is worried about their life. Speaking to the Outlook, Shabista Khan, wife of Kafeel Khan said, ‘Instead of celebrating my husband’s release after seven months in jail, our family is terrified’. Dr. Kafeel and our family is terrified to move back to our home in Gorakhpur fearing that Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government could frame him in another case or he could be killed in a ‘fake encounter’. That’s how clueless and helpless law looks nowadays. It fails even to guarantee right to live to its citizens.

Yogi Adityanath led UP Government has lost faith and confidence in its citizens. Dr. Shaista, the wife of Dr. Kafeel is afraid beyond words and is planning to stay back in Jaipur. She does not feel safe to travel to Uttar Pradesh. Instead of incarcerating Khan, the state government should have availed his services at a time when health amenities in the state “badly needed” co-operation from the medical fraternity. Instead, Dr. Kafeel was falsely deatained just beacuse he questioned the government about the real culprits of the children’s deaths.

Dr. Khan at work. Picture Credit: TheWire

The people of India have to think and ponder about the course of the country now. As to why people proclaim their rights are being suppressed? We really need to think about where are we collectively leading our country to? India today is under an authoritarian government. The whole idea of secularism, integrity, oneness, and freedom goes for a toss when a common man questions the government. Many people seem to have forgotten the fact that we live in a democracy.

It’s agonizing to see that the people in power has to bar a doctor whoquestioned the government over the Gorakhpur tragedy of 2017. Why couldn’t the state government focus on elevating the state’s health infrastructure so that no child should die of his or her right to breathe oxygen, rather than detaining someone who saved many lives. Is it because people of the country have given the power to these people to surpass minority and marginal voices rather than focusing on the real issue of healthcare, poverty, or education. Dr. Kafeel has been lodged at the Mathura jail in Uttar Pradesh since January 29, 2020, and had been granted bail in February, but the NSA was invoked against him before he could be released.

Now when all allegations turned out to be false and baseless, will the state apologize? After being exonerated, Khan has been demanding revocation of his suspension and has also, filed a plea for the same in a court. The country will see how long this procedure is going to take. For the time being, states need to release all political prisoners or they will be paying the cost for being  Muslims, Dalits, Adivasis in form of  Lifetime imprisonment under NSA and UAPA. These acts have been damaging the democracy and fracturing the very essence of nationhood.

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