Release Dr Kafeel Khan and Revoke NSA against him

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He is a good doctor, social worker and a good human being. Even after an Aligarh court found freedom of speech supreme and granted him bail, the UP government created a new norm and kept him in custody for four more days, at the end of which loomed the NSA.

On January 29, 2020, a day before India’s first COVID-positive case was reported, Dr Kafeel was arrested from Bombay airport, this time on a political charge. He had already been warning the government and public about the looming health crisis. In fact, he had made awareness videos just before his arrest—explaining what the coronavirus is and how the symptoms would show up. From jail, he wrote two letters. His first letter again warned people not to take COVID lightly and spoke of the dangers of Stage 3 transmission.

The second letter, written on March 19, was addressed to PM Narendra Modi: Dr Kafeel requested that he be released so he could lend his energies to the fight against the pandemic, citing his expertise in the area. He suggested that India move towards mass tests, ramping up the supply of testing centres, ventilators and ICU beds. There was no response. Ironically, the same evening the PM addressed the nation and asked Indians to clap and clang bells to express gratitude towards doctors. That duly happened on March 22. Soon, India entered lockdown and a doctor’s lockup got indefinitely extended—on April 14, an advisory board refused to revoke the NSA charges on him.