“Worried about the safety of my family, a similar attack happened on my brother in 2018”; says Dr Kafeel Khan from Mathura Jail

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Dr Kafeel Khan says he is worried about the safety of his family after knowing about the murder of his maternal uncle Nazrullah Ahmed Warsi on last night. He was shot point blank at around eleven pm in front of their house and the bullet had pierced his head as per the reports from Gorakhpur that came in. He was aged 55. The UP police say that the murder is the result of a land dispute. “On the written complaint of family members, case of murder against one Imammuddin and Anil Sonkar has been registered and police has initiated a probe and is searching for both the accused. Police met the women in their house and is interrogating them,” said Circle Officer VP Singh.

“I am worried about the safety of my family, a similar attack happened on my brother in 2018,”, said Dr.Kafeel Khan, to his elder brother Adeel Khan who met him in Mathura jail today. ” After the attempt of murder on his younger brother Kashif Jameel, the entire family is been put in open threat in Uttarpradesh, but despite that his siblings and other relatives worked active in his fight against the recurrent arrests and state torture and critical public health conditions.

Dr Kafeel Khan who after his ground breaking intervention that saved Japanese Encephalitis affected children of Gorakhpur BRD medical college had been enduring Uttarpradesh government’s vindictive victimization since then.

Dr Kafeel, in an interview done in August 2018 said that BJP MP Kamlesh Paswan has a role in the attempt to murder his brother.  Dr Khan had also stressed on the proximity of chief minister Yogi Adityanath at the place where Kashif was shot at. These are the excerpts from the interview.

How is your brother Kashif Jameel?

Kashif is okay. The UP police have not found those who tried to kill my brother.

On 10th of June my brother after offering Taravih, the namaz we offer at late night around 10.30 he went to buy slippers for his mother. He went near Gorakhnath temple. The chief minister was also there that night. The incident happened just five hundred metres away from Gorakhnath temple. Two guys came on a scooty and they fired five times. Three bullets hit him. First bullet was from behind, which pierced from back and exited from front. My brother was on his bike. First bullet was from behind. Then they came in front and fired the rest. Bullets hit his upper limb, right arm. Then he started running. They followed him and again fired. That hit very badly. From the right shoulder it went into the neck. It was stuck there. But still he was running. He fell down again he got up and started running. By the time public came and these guys fled. We took him to the Star hospital, a private multi- specialty hospital there. They told us we have to remove the bullets otherwise he won’t survive. So much bleeding and he was crying in pain.

Then the police came. They said medico legal is must before doing any surgery. The doctor said we have finished a medico legal. The police said “no no this is done by a private doctor we want it from a government doctor” but in the Supreme Court guidelines it is said that first you have to save the life then only these formalities should be done. Anyhow medico legal is done by a qualified doctor, whether he is a private doctor or a government doctor that doesn’t matter. The police was insisting we have to do it. They took us to the district hospital around 11.30, the incident happened at 10.30. They did a medico legal by a government doctor. That took around one hour and it was finished around 1. Then they said we are not satisfied with a government doctor, we have to go to medical college where there will be a medical board which consists of four to five doctors then only we will be allowed to do a surgery. Surgeon who was there was insisting that we have to remove the bullets otherwise it is danger for his life. But these guys were not listening at all. They were behaving like they want my brother to be killed and not to open his mouth. He was crying in pain and we were struggling. We took him back to the Star hospital and said we don’t want one more medico legal and we want my brother’s life be saved. Again they followed us with four to five police vehicles with forty to fifty police men.

They forcibly and deliberately took us to the Gorakhpur medical college which was far around 20 kilometers from the private hospital where we went. Twenty kilometers…it was jerky, bad roads. It took around half an hour to reach there. We reached around one o’ clock. There doctors said medico legal is already done and we have to remove the bullets, no need to do one more medico legal because surgery is needed immediately. They said they don’t have a specialized doctor at the medical college too remove the bullets. They said you have to go to Lucknow. Then we questioned, what is going on! Already three hours wasted now you are asking to go to Lucknow which is three hundred kilometers from Gorakhpur. The cops were getting orders from the higher authorities, they just wanted to let my brother die. We got angry and we said we have to remove the bullets right now. Then I called my friend, he is my senior. He came and took my brother to a private hospital again there early morning at around three they removed the bullets. These cops tried to kill my brother second time. I call it a second attempt of murder. This is a second attempt of murder by UP police. The DCP was there. The city SP Vinay Kumar Singh was there. He is the same guy who tried to stop work at my land a few months back. They were getting instructions on phone, and deliberately and intentionally they delayed the emergency surgery. What we call a ‘golden hour’ in medical terms was lost. My brother was crying in pain and bleeding like anything. He had got seven bullet holes on his body. Because of all these, the surgery got delayed, my brother’s condition deteriorated and after removing the bullets we had to run to Lucknow. He was there in ICU for around seven days.

Now he is okay, getting better. We lodged an FIR. A local BJP MP Kamlesh Paswan did that. He is the one who sent the shooters. We got local information. We filed an FIR against him. But even after one and half months the cops are not doing anything. They have not even questioned him, they have not even taken his statement. The entire government machinery is trying to save him and this is where the chief minister’s presence the crime occurred. So it’s a question of CM’s security also. Protocol should be there. Kilometers was covered by security persons. But still two guys came, tried to kill my brother and disappeared. The cops have no clue who tried to kill him. Till date there was no arrest in this case. No investigation too. We went to meet local cops, we went to DGP of Uttar Pradesh, gave him a letter against those cops who tried to kill my brother, and sought CBI enquiry.

I held a press conference also on 17th of June in Lucknow, demanding CBI enquiry. We have sent a letter to Chief Minister, my brother Adeel Khan met the chief minister. We sent  letter to the Home Minister and the Prime Minister, President, Human Rights Commission, and to the UN also. But we didn’t get any replies.

We waited for one month. Filed a petition at Allahabad High Court to demand for a fair investigation and for CBI enquiry, and to get answer for why the cops delayed four hours before emergency surgery. On 11th of July High Court has ordered Uttar Pradesh government that why it should have a CBI enquiry. They asked the SSP of Gorakhpur to file personal affidavit on why the cops have not arrested the attackers and why there is no proper investigation. The next hearing is on 26th July.

Almost in all these hate crimes like these all the culprits are not getting arrested or getting punished. What do you say about that?

No, no… not at all!

The entire government machinery is trying to save the culprits. It’s a BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. In fact they want me to keep my mouth shut. They don’t want the details about the BRD tragedy be revealed, like how many kids died, who is responsible for that etc. I am fighting for the kids who died. After I got bail and came out from jail I am continuously speaking about that. So I think that is why they tried to kill my brother.

It is being almost a year after BRD Oxygen massacre.

Yeah. It happened on 10th of August 2017. My fight is not just my fight, it’s the fight of all parents who lost their kids, they should get justice. They didn’t get compensation, didn’t get a word of sympathy. You know 1100 people died till June end.

 Two years over after the murder attempt, no one arrested in the case. Dr Kafeel was arrested on third time on January 29, as he was setting off to Kerala to be part of anti-CAA protests. 153A was charged on him for a speech he made at Aligarh Muslim University and later even when the court granted bail, he was kept imprisoned for four days. On the fifth day morning he was charged with National Security Act.

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