Kochi

Governments invoking NSA, UAPA to suppress dissent: Kafeel Khan

Paediatrician-activist Dr. Khafeel Khan along with Hibi Eden, MP, during the release of the former’s book in the city on Tuesday.

Paediatrician-activist Dr. Khafeel Khan along with Hibi Eden, MP, during the release of the former’s book in the city on Tuesday.

The National Security Act and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act were being invoked not only by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh, but by all governments that felt threatened by the criticism against their policies and wanted to suppress dissent, according to Kafeel Khan, paediatrician and activist. “I feel lucky that I am alive despite being in prison for about 500 days and to remain as a refugee in my own country following state persecution. But, there are thousands languishing in jail for over 10 to 20 years under these laws,” he said, after presenting his book “The Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy: A Doctor’s Memoir of a Deadly Medical Crisis” at the Ernakulam Press Club on Tuesday.

Dr. Khan had hit the headlines after he alleged that oxygen shortage led to the deaths of several children at the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur in 2017. He was arrested on January 29, 2020, for an address to students of the Aligarh Muslim University on the Citizenship Amendment Act.

On the continuing plight of the families of the children, who died in the devastating tragedy, Dr. Khan said that justice had not been delivered to them yet. “They are yet to receive the financial assistance assured by the authorities. The Uttar Pradesh Government fudged the COVID-19 data to show that the number of deaths owing to COVID-19 was less,” he alleged.

On the poll scenario in Uttar Pradesh, Dr. Khan said that the Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav had an initial edge. “But, that has changed after the Bharatiya Janata Party changed the battle into a Modi versus Akhilesh, fearing that they will lose the election. Yogi Adityanath has been removed from the posters and rallies,” he said.

Dr. Khan said that he had received an offer to publish the Malayalam version of his book and it was expected to be ready by March.


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Printable version | May 18, 2022 2:16:57 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/governments-invoking-nsa-uapa-to-suppress-dissent-kafeel-khan/article38288887.ece