Dr Kafeel Khan Was Among Prisoners to Be Released on SC Order But His Name Was Dropped: Wife Claims in Video
LUCKNOW, MARCH 30— The wife of imprisoned Dr Kafeel Khan has issued a video wherein she has appealed to the Supreme Court for release of her husband. Dr Shabista Khan has alleged that even after the order for release of prisoners (in the wake of Coronavirus outbreak), her husband has not been released.
In view of the spread of Coronavirus, the Supreme Court had on March 23 ordered all states and Union Territories to consider release of those prisoners who have been in jail up to seven years on parole and this benefit could be extended also to those prisoners who are awaiting trial for offences entailing maximum sentence of seven years.
In the video released on Sunday (March 29), she claimed that her husband’s name was in the list of prisoners that were to be released on Saturday (March 28) from Mathura jail in Uttar Pradesh but his name was dropped after a call from an official from Lucknow.
“My husband Dr Kafeel Khan, who is currently lodged in Mathura jail, was to be released along with other prisoners on the March 23 order of the Supreme Court. My husband’s name was in the list yesterday (Saturday) morning and he was to be released along with others in the evening. But some official from Lucknow called to Mathura jail and stopped his release,” said Dr Shabista.
She said that her husband himself shared this information with her by calling her from the jail PCO.
“My husband called me from jail PCO at 3:16 PM today (Sunday) and told me that his name was in the list of to-be-released prisoners and he was to be released in the evening. But some official from Lucknow called the jail official and prevented my release,” she claimed in the video.
In the end of one-minute long video, she said: “I want to appeal to the Honourable Supreme Court that my husband is released from jail the earliest and we are granted justice.”
Dr Kafeel was arrested at the Mumbai airport on January 29 for his alleged controversial speech at an anti-CAA protest at Aligarh Muslim University on December 12, day after the citizenship law was passed by the Parliament. A local court in Aligarh district granted him bail on February 10. However, he was not released from jail despite the jail authorities getting the bail order from the court. His family secured a reminder from the court for the jail authorities. But couple of hours before he was to be released on February 14, the Uttar Pradesh government booked him under the National Security Act (NSA), effectively blocking his release. Under NSA, an accused cannot get even bail for one year. Last week, on a writ petition filed by Dr Kafeel’s mother, the Supreme Court asked the Allahabad High Court to take up his case.
Talking to India Tomorrow, Dr Kafeel’s brother Adeel Ahmed Khan said: “Earlier also, Dr Kafeel Khan was kept in jail even after release order and later he was booked under NSA. The case is now pending in the court. In the wake of the Coronavirus, he was to be released on conditions but now Mathura jail officials have told us that he would not be released.”
Making allegation against the UP government, he further said: “My brother Kafeel has earlier remained in jail for eight months. His only crime was that he saved children who were dying of oxygen shortage. Even after he got clean chit in all investigations, my brother is being targeted by the UP government, which is beyond our comprehension.”