‘Such intimidating tactics won’t deter those fighting for justice’
By Abdul bari masoud
New Delhi: Prominent Muslim and rights groups on Saturday condemned the raid by the Delhi Police (Special Cell) at the office of Advocate Mehmood Pracha. They expressed grave concerns over the “raid culture’’ by the government agencies and demanded stern action against the guilty police personnel.
On Thursday, the special cell raided Pracha’s office in East Nizamuddin who has been pleading several cases related to the February 2020 Northeast Delhi violence in which 54 people died and around 400 injured.
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) Vice President, Prof Salim Engineer said “The raids appear to be an act of vengeance and intimidation. There is a visible pattern in the recent arrests by the Delhi Police. It appears as if the police want to send a message that those who take up cudgels on behalf of victims of injustice and police high-handedness will have to face inquiries, raids and arrest.”
Expressing concern over the ‘raid-culture’, he alleged that, “The government is misusing various agencies to intimidate those who oppose its policies and actions. Our Constitution has enjoined the law-enforcement agencies and the government institutions to be independent and free from executive control.”
Expressing solidarity with Pracha, Popular Front of India said the raid is part of the harassment against him for representing the victims of “Sangh Parivar sponsored” North East Delhi violence.
Front National Secretary, Mohammed Shakif said, “The Fabricated cases and the harassment against Adv. Pracha proves that the same forces who organized the carnage are now trying to interrupt justice to the victims”.
He warned that the officers who tried to seize Pracha’s hard disc are trying to destroy the sanctity client -lawyer privilege as it bodes ill for the entire legal profession and law and order in the country.
Pracha is a human rights lawyer who worked for ensuring justice to innocents imprisoned under draconian terror laws like UAPA and was one among the few courageous lawyers who exposed the role of Sangh Parivar and Delhi police in the anti-Muslim pogrom happened in North East Delhi, he added.
Another group All India Milli Council said it seems that the Delhi police want to browbeat Pracha who has taken up the cudgels for the victims of riots. Council secretary general, Dr Manzoor Alam said it is a highly condemnable act of Delhi Police to target a lawyer who is carrying out his professional duty. Dr Alam said action should be taken against the guilty police sleuths.
Meanwhile, rights group, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) condemned the ‘intimidating” tactics of the Delhi police.
The secretary of the Delhi committee of NCHRO, Advocate Ansaar Indori said “it is clear that these kinds of raids are being done so that the ones who have been wrongly incarcerated on the pretext of the riots in Northeast Delhi can stay incarcerated without any legal representation”.
“We have seen the way in which all those who had actually incited the riots, like the BJP leader Kapil Mishra, have not been investigated at all, and those who are innocent are being targeted by the Central government,” he added.
On 24 December, 2020, at around 12:30 pm, the Delhi Police raided the office of Pracha, who is the defense counsel for the accused in the Delhi riots. The Delhi police also seized the laptop of Pracha who said on record that though the Police could search his computer with a warrant, they cannot seize it, and that such a seizure is illegal.
These kinds of scare-tactics are not going to stop those who are fighting for justice, Indori said and added that The NCHRO stands in complete solidarity with Advocate Mehmood Pracha, and with everyone else who is fighting for justice.