The Uttar Pradesh government has slapped the National Security Act (NSA) on Dr. Kafeel Khan of Gorakhpu r for his alleged inflammatory and provocative comments against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) at Aligarh Muslim University recently.
Dr. Khan was booked under the stringent law on the day he was expected to be released on bail from the Mathura jail, where he was lodged after his arrest in the case on January 29
Dr. Khan's family said he was being targetted by the Yogi Adityanath government for his activism, as despite being granted bail by a CJM court in Aligarh on February 10, he continued to languish in jail without a proper reason.
SP (crime) Aligarh Arvind Kumar told The Hindu that Dr. Khan was booked under the NSA by the district administration.
Superintendent of Mathura jail Shailendra Maitri said the jail received Dr. Khan's release orders at 8 p.m. on Thursday and that he was due to be released on Friday morning.
In his order, District Magistrate (DM) Aligarh Chandrabhushan Singh said it was necessary to book Dr. Khan under the NSA to prevent him from doing acts against “maintenance of public order”.
In a letter to the district administration, the Aligarh police said there was a “strong possibility” of Dr. Khan causing a serious threat to public order if he returned to AMU.
If Dr. Kafeel is “released from jail, then he will certainly impact the peace and communal harmony in Aligarh by instigating students”, wrote SSP Akash Kulhary to the DM.
Dr. Khan, who was arrested by the State’s Special Task Force from the Mumbai airport, has been under suspension from the Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College in Gorakhpur since the oxygen tragedy of 2017.
An FIR was lodged against him on December 13 in Aligarh under Section 153-A of the Indian Penal Code (promoting enmity between different groups). Section s 153 b, 505 (2) and 109 of the IPC were added later during investigation.
According to the FIR, Dr. Khan provoked the religious sentiments of Muslim students of AMU while addressing a gathering of around 600 students on December 12 on the CAA. He tried to spread hatred among the Muslim students of AMU towards Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs and Christians coming under the ambit of the CAA, the FIR alleged.
Dr. Khan's brother Adeel Khan accused the government of witch-hunt against him for highlighting alleged discrepancies in the BRD hospital. When the Mathura jail authorities did not release him despite the bail, his family moved the CJM court in Aligarh, which then directed them to expedite the release.
“After the CJM directed the jail to release him, the same evening the Aligarh administration booked Kafeel under the NSA. We were told about it on Friday at 9 a.m.”, Mr. Adeel said.
“The government wants to keep him in jail on false charges and not allow him to speak regarding the BRD issue”, said Mr. Adeel, adding that his brother had expressed threat to his life outside the Bandra court where he appeared after his arrest.
Mr. Adeel said they would challenge the slapping of the NSA on Dr. Khan in the High Court.