Uttar Pradesh’s Yogi government earlier this week registered FIR against nine persons, including the former principal of Gorakhpur- based BRD Medical College, in connection with the deaths of over 60 children there due to alleged lack of oxygen supply.
Among those being singled out for punishment were Dr Kafeel Khan, Dr Rajiv Mishra, his wife Dr Purnima Shukla and proprietors of M/s Pushpa Sales, the company responsible for the supply of liquid oxygen.
The action against Khan baffled many particularly due to his heroic act in saving dozens’ of children’s lives by personally ferrying oxygen cylinders from other hospitals. Curiously, even the district magistrate’s inquiry report had exonerated him.
But his name found prominent mention in the probe report submitted by the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary, who reports to Yogi Adityanath.
Now a pained Khan has taken to Facebook recording his personal tale what happened that fateful night, when more than 60 children had died due to sudden stop in oxygen supply.
In his viral Facebook video, Dr Khan says, “I saw DGME (Director General Medical Education) saying that ‘there were 52 cylinders (in the hospital). ‘What Kafeel would have done with three more cylinders.’ Sir, I didn’t just bring three cylinders, but I brought 250 cylinders in that 24 hours. There was not a single person there till 6 PM. We kept running all throughout the day and night. No one came. The DM knew about it since noon. I had phoned the CMO and AD (Health) too. I had begged to all saying ‘sir give us at least 50 cylinders. It’s a dire situation and children are dying.’ No one came and you talk about three cylinders.”
Dr Khan also added that his family was being forced to live in hiding because of constant fear as there were attempts to defame him.
He said, “Our entire family are now being force to live in hiding. Ammi jan(mother) has gone for Hajj. She’s worried from there that what will happen tomorrow. Everything will be fine because Allah is there. I am satisfied that I saved children’s life. Even if I saved 10 children’s lives, I’m sure I will always have blessing of their parents.”
It seems the video was recorded the night before the Chief Secretary submitted his report to the state government.
More than 100 children died since 10 August at the Gorakhpur hospital. Adityanath, who’s been an MP from here for five terms, had visited the hospital on 9 August. The news of appalling healthcare facilities in his home town resulting in deaths of more than 100 children had left him embarrassed.
The parents who lost their loved ones, were forced to carry the children’s dead bodies wrapped in towels in auto-rickshaws as the hospital authorities did not conduct post-mortem and provide ambulance facilities to the grieving families.