Arrested for provocative speech, Gorakhpur doctor Kafeel Khan gets bail
An Aligarh district court on Monday granted bail to Dr. Kafeel Khan, two weeks after his arrest for allegedly making a provocative speech at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). Dr. Khan was arrested in January from the Mumbai airport, a day before he was scheduled to join a protest against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Here are more details.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Justice Karuna Singh passed the bail order on Monday on a bail bond of Rs 60,000 to ensure the offense is not repeated. Separately, two surety bonds of Rs. 60,000 each would also have to be submitted by the two guarantors. "If the accused, while out on release, repeats the offense, action will be taken," Justice Singh reportedly said.
After Khan's bail, his lawyer, Mohammad Irfan Gazi, said his client was arrested under political pressure. According to IANS, Gazi said, "The court was told that Khan was falsely implicated by police under political pressure. After hearing the arguments, the court granted him bail."
Khan was arrested from the Mumbai airport on January 29 by the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) with assistance from Mumbai Police. On January 31, he was sent to 14-day judicial custody in Aligarh. He was later transferred to Mathura jail to maintain law and order in Aligarh. He will be released from Mathura jail on Tuesday after legal formalities are completed.
The FIR against Khan—excerpted in The Hindu—stated, "Dr. Kafeel allegedly said through the CAA, 'we are giving employment in our homes to thieves who are stealing in our neighborhood.'" It added, "Dr. Kafeel said in his speech that Mota bhai (Home Minister Amit Shah) teaches us to become Hindu or Muslim, but not human beings." Khan made the remarks at AMU on December 12.
The FIR was registered on December 13, under Sections 153-A (promoting enmity), 153 B and 109 (abetment) of the IPC. Subsequently, he was arrested on January 29 a day before he was supposed to join the "Mumbai bagh" protests.
To recall, Khan had first made headlines back in 2017. The pediatrician was at the center of the controversy at Gorakhpur's BRD Medical College, where over 60 children had died. The blame fell on Khan, who was subsequently suspended, arrested and jailed. However, in September 2019, a UP government report cleared him of all major accusations.