Following the order by the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday, Dr Kafeel Khan was released from Mathura jail on late Tuesday night, said his lawyer. Khan, a doctor in Uttar Pradesh, was arrested in January this year for his speech which criticised the government on the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act of 2019.

The Allahabad High Court quashed the detention of Khan under the National Security Act and ordered his immediate release. The Uttar Pradesh government had extended his detention under the NSA by three months. 

Delivering the judgment the court observed, “We are having no hesitation in concluding that neither detention of Dr Kafeel Khan under National Security Act, 1980 nor extension of the detention are sustainable in the eye of law.”

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Khan was given bail following his arrest in January by the Aligarh court on February 10 but the Uttar Pradesh government slapped the NSA on him. 

In a letter addressed to PM Narendra Modi, Khan had offered his help as a medical expert to fight the coronavirus. He said that life in Mathura jail is a living hell, with just one attached toilet for 125 to 150 inmates.

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Earlier in 2017, Kafeel Khan was suspended and arrested after the death of 60 children in the Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital, in Gorakhpur allegedly due to an oxygen shortage. After spending almost nine months in prison, a government inquiry had absolved him of all the charges. He had vehemently criticised the anti-minority policies of the BJP government and had been active in the anti-CAA-NRC protests.