UP police arrest key accused doctor in Gorakhpur tragedy

Kafeel Khan, the head of the encephalitis wing in BRD hospital in Gorakhpur and one of the key accused in the deaths of over 60 children, was arrested by Uttar Pradesh police on Saturday while trying to flee the country.

A Special Task Force of the state police arrested Khan, the third prime accused in the case, from Gorakhpur while he was trying to flee possibly to Nepal, informed sources told IANS.

An FIR was lodged against him and six others earlier this week and a non-bailable warrant was issued by a fast track court on Friday.

Khan, a paediatric and nodal officer of the 100-bed AES (acute encephalitis syndrome) ward in the hospital, has been accused of dereliction of duty and not informing seniors and the administration of the paucity of oxygen, which led to many of the deaths.

Over 60 children lost their lives between August 10 and 14 at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur, the home constituency of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. At least 30 of them died within 48 hours due to shortage of oxygen supply.

Former Principal of the medical college Rajeev Mishra and his wife Poornima have already been arrested and are in a 14-day judicial custody.

Mishra has been accused of sitting over bills of the vendor supplying oxygen.

Reports said despite an allocation of Rs 4.54 crore for the financial year 2017-18, Mishra did not clear a payment of Rs 63.65 lakh. His wife has been accused of stalling the payment by pressurising him.

The couple was arrested on August 29 from Kanpur when they were visiting a lawyer, seeking legal counsel against their impending arrest.

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