Yogi Govt Condemned for Slapping NSA on Doctor Kafeel Khan

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Dr Kafeel Khan has set up a camp in Muzaffarpur to offer free medical care to patients.

Crude attempt to block his release from confinement

Waquar Hasan | Caravan Daily

NEW DLEHI – The Yogi Adityanath government drew sharp criticism on Friday for slapping the lethal National Security Act on Dr. Kafeel Khan, at a time when he was about to be released on bail in a ‘hate speech’ case.

Khan, who rose to fame after playing a stellar role in saving sick children in a Gorakhpur hospital, was not released till Friday even after a court granted him bail four days ago. The police’s continued attempt to keep him in confinement drew sharp protests on social media, with prominent individuals like Bollywood director Anurag Kashyap and Swara Bhashkar coming out strongly in support of Dr Khan.

Khan was arrested from Mumbai on 29 January over a speech he delivered in Aligarh against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). In the speech, he allegedly called home minister Amit Shah “Mota Bhai” and also criticised him. He also criticised the the central government for dividing people on communal lines.

“Dr. Kafeel Khan hasn’t yet been released from jail. This is after a court in Aligarh granted him bail on February 10. Why this witch-hunt? Is the UP Police above the judiciary?” So tweeted Swara Bhashkar on Thursday.

Anurag Kashyap asked the UP CM, Yogi Adityanath, why he was flouting rules, as the government has not been in a mood to release Khan despite a court order.

Many Twitter users sharply criticised the UP Police and the government on this issue. However, these criticisms and protests made no impact on the BJP government in the state.

On Friday morning, Khan’s wife Dr Sabista Khan informed the public through his Twitter handle that, instead of releasing Khan, the cops went on the offensive and booked him under NSA, so that his release would be difficult even in the context of a court order.

The new charges against Khan shocked many including Swaraj Party chief Yogendra Yadav and Gujarat Dalit MLA Jignesh Mevani. Yadav saw in it a similarity with what was being indulged in by the Kashmir government against public figures.

“Shocking! UP Police follows Kashmir model. Dr Kafeel was arrested. Court ordered his release. But he was not released. Now we learn that he has been booked under NSA. Name of the game: cooking up of excuses and hurling an open threat, namely that ‘we will catch and jail whoever we want’,” he tweeted.

Mevani expressed sympathy for the family of Khan. “Absolutely terrible! Very sorry for you Kafeel bhai and family! Ladte rahenge. Sangharsh hi hamaara saathi hai,” he tweeted.

Anuragh Kashyap was baffled by the invocation of NSA against Khan and he strongly criticised the ruling BJP for misuse of law. “National Security Act? For what? All these bills and acts have been passed only to use them as tools for governments to suppress dissent. That is why we do not trust any [email protected] wants to pass. Their intentions are dark and sinister,” tweeted Kashyap.

Criticising the UP government, senior journalist Seema Mustafa wrote: “Dr Kafeel Khan is back in jail; arrested by the vengeful state government for opposing CAA. He was granted bail by local courts on February 10 but not released; and now he has been booked under NSA. Does law no longer apply (to situations) in UP? Or is that a naive question?”

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