New Delhi/Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government has extended by three months the detention of physician Kafeel Khan under the National Security Act (NSA) for his alleged provocative speech during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests.
Khan was arrested in January for delivering the speech at Aligarh Muslim University on December 10, 2019. It is the second time his detention under the stringent law has been extended by another three months, this time beyond August 13.
Under the NSA, people can be detained without a charge for up to 12 months if authorities are satisfied that they are a threat to national security or law and order.
In an order dated August 4, 2020, the UP home department said the NSA was invoked against Khan on February 13, 2020, on the orders of the Aligarh district magistrate.
The matter was then sent to the advisory council, which in its report, said there are “enough reasons” to keep Khan in jail following which orders were given on May 6, 2020, to extend his detention under the NSA by three months, that is till August 13, 2020, the order said.
According to the report of the UP advisory council and the report obtained from Aligarh District Magistrate, governor Anandiben Patel, using the powers vested in her, directed that the detention of Khan be further extended by three months.
“As a result, Kafeel will remain in jail till November 13, 2020,” the order said.
Khan was booked under Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
According to the FIR registered against him, his speech threatened to disrupt the harmony between the communities and was also likely to create a law and order situation.
Later, IPC Sections 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 505(2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill will between classes) were added to the FIR, police said.
The doctor is currently lodged in Mathura jail.
Khan had hit the headlines for the first time in 2017 after the deaths of several kids due to lack of oxygen cylinders at Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College, where he worked as a paediatrician. The doctor has alleged that an institutional failure had led to the deaths of the children. He has subsequently faced threats, cases and even his family members were attacked, which the doctor says is political vendetta on the part of the state government.
(With PTI inputs)