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Kafeel Khan’s wife fears threat to his life in jail

Kafeel Khan

Kafeel Khan  

Shabista Khan writes to authorities demanding better security for the detained doctor

Days after Gorakhpur-based doctor Kafeel Khan’s maternal uncle was shot dead, his wife on Wednesday wrote to authorities stating that she feared a threat to his life and demanded that the detained paediatrician be provided better security in jail.

Dr. Khan is lodged in Mathura jail, after being booked under the National Security Act for allegedly delivering a provocative speech at a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) at the Aligarh Muslim University.

Shabista Khan wrote to the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court, Uttar Pradesh’s Additional Chief Secretary (Home) and the Director General of Police (Jail) of the State asserting that she fears he could face a murder attempt and that “some innocent prisoner would be falsely implicated” by the administration to shift responsibility.

Ms. Khan demanded that her husband be kept away from “active criminals” and be lodged with ‘ordinary prisoners’ in the jail, and also be provided security.

“My husband is being mentally tortured in jail and is being subjected to inhuman behaviour,” she alleged.

Nusratullah Warsi, a businessman and Dr. Khan’s maternal uncle was shot dead late on Saturday in Gorakhpur. In June 2018, Dr. Khan’s younger brother Kashif Jameel was grievously wounded after being shot thrice.

Superintendent Mathura jail, Shailendra Maitrey, dismissed the allegations made by Dr. Khan’s wife and said the detained paediatrician was being “treated normally like ordinary prisoners.”

Mr. Maitrey said Dr. Khan was already being provided security “as per the resources available” and was also being granted regular mulaqats (visitor meetings) with his relatives.

“Every 30 minutes, we check on his well-being through the in-charge personnel,” the superintendent said.

Mr. Maitrey also asserted that in case Dr. Khan wanted to report harassment faced by him in jail, he could easily do so at the weekly inspection by the district legal cell secretary, who is of the rank of an additional chief judicial magistrate. “There cannot be more transparency than this,” he said.

Dr. Khan’s older brother Adeel Khan said his sister-in-law’s apprehensions were based on the two incidents — the shooting of his younger brother and the murder of their uncle last week. He suspects there could be a link between the attacks and Dr. Khan’s activism after the BRD hospital tragedy in Gorakhpur in 2017.

“Kashif was shot at in June 2018 but the shooters have still not been arrested. Doctor Kafeel received threats on phone and through messages on several occasions in the past,” Mr. Adeel said. Also, the police were yet to trace the shooters of his maternal uncle, he added.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 11:51:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/kafeel-khans-wife-fears-threat-to-his-life-in-jail/article30923815.ece

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