After the Allahabad High Court verdict to drop the NSA and other charges, Dr Kafeel Khan, who was arrested in January from Mumbai airport by the Special Task Force of the Uttar Pradesh Police for a “provocative speech” at Aligarh, was released from the Mathura jail on Tuesday midnight.
Dr Khan thanked the 130 crore Indians for extending moral support and expressed gratitude towards the justices for absolving him of all charges, but didn’t hide his pain meted out to him over the last 7 months.
“The first 5 days of the STF custody were the worst days of my life. I was tortured like anything and kept without food and water. They asked weird questions, such as if I had gone to Japan although my passport had been compounded by the court. They asked me if I invented some powder, which can kill the masses. I asked them whether they meant coronavirus,” Dr Khan alleged.
In the same breath, he also expressed gratitude towards the police. “I am thankful to the STF which didn’t do my encounter while bringing me from Mumbai to Mathura just as they did in the Vikas Dubey case,” the paediatrician said, adding he could be arrested in future as well.
Despite being in jail, Dr Khan was updated on the corona situation in India along with the statistics.
Without naming UP CM Yogi Adityanath, Dr Khan said, “In Jail, I watched the Ramayan serial which was telecast on TV. The serial talked about the Raj Dharma of the king in detail. Here, we see how the king is doing ‘bal hath’.”
Dr Khan said, “I wanted to serve the people in the pandemic but was jailed on false charges. My old mother ran from pillar to post to get me released. My kids have grown up without me and don’t recognise me.”
Quashing the detention order of Dr Kafeel Khan under the stringent National Security Act, the Allahabad HC urt on Tuesday slammed the state authorities for keeping him in jail “illegally” for 6 months and ordered his “immediate release”.
The division bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Dayal passed the order on the basis of a petition by his mother, Nuzhat Parveen. She had approached the Supreme Court, whivh referred the plea to the HC.
Dr Khan was arrested from the Mumbai airport in January for an anti-CAA speech he delivered at the Aligarh Muslim University on Dec 12, 2019 for trying to “disrupt the harmony between the communities”. Later, the NSA was slapped upon him.