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This petition is an initiative by Resident Doctor Association & Student Union - Aligarh Muslim University , Medical professionals, public health professionals and health organisations /networks appealing for justice in the case of Dr. Kafeel Khan & other doctors of BRD Hospital ,Gorakhpur .
The horrific deaths of over 70 children at the BabaRaghav Das (BRD) Medical College in August 2017in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh shocked the countryand public consciousness. While these deaths werevery clearly as a result of the serious systemic gapsin the public health infrastructure andadministrative breakdown of healthcare deliveryin the hospital, the unfortunate response to thedeaths was the wrongful prosecution of a doctor-DrKafeel Khan from BRD medical college andhospital. Dr Kafeel Khan, who performed his roleas an ethical medical professional and undertookimmediate steps to manage the grave situation ofthe poor infrastructure and care, including the lackof oxygen cylinders, - was instead incarcerated. Hisefforts at rendering his duties as a doctor and as apublic servant in responding to the emergencydespite the challenges of the poor infrastructureand care in the hospital were not acknowledgedand instead penalized.
It is extremely distressing that since August 2017, Dr.Kafeel Khan has been wrongfully charged with‘attempt to murder’ and has been languishing in jail.His pleas of being innocent and being falsely accusedhave been ignored by the State and Judiciary.
He continues to struggle for justice which he has Be denied; he continues to be denied bail. His prosecution is not only an act of injustice to him,but also to all the many children and families whom Dr. Kafeel Khan tried to help at that time ofdistress.
Dr. Kafeel Khan had fully cooperated with the policeand had surrendered himself with the hope of faith
in the legal system, of a fair and due process of law.
We demand that Dr. Kafeel Khan and others be released immediately, and that urgent efforts be made to ensure strengthened health care for children and all others accessing health care from public health institutions including the BRD Medical College and Hospital so that such a tragedy does not recur – ameaningful step towards justice for the affected families of the Gorakhpur tragedy as well as the medically professional who sincerely tried to help despite the odds. We demand that:
• The case of Dr. Kafeel and other Doctors of BRD Medical College namely Dr. Satish Kumar, Dr. Rajeev Mishra, Dr. Poornima should be heard in fast track court and speedy justice should be ensured to the affected doctors.
• Dr. Kafeel and other health care providers and frontline workers like him who served their duties with utmost professionalism and nobility should be accorded due respect. The State should formally acknowledge their diligence and service towards public health care.
• Establishment of an independent judicial enquiry committee including public health experts-to look into the systemic failures and events that led to the deaths; to give suggestions on correct measures to strengthen the public health system delivery in the state for child careand larger health needs.
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