Delhi Police raid office of advocate Mehmood Pracha who is fighting cases of victims of Northeast Delhi violence; he calls it an attempt to silence him

Published : March 10, 2021 11:19 IST

Mehmood Pracha, advocate. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

A few weeks after the Delhi Police raided the premises of advocate Mehmood Pracha, who is representing many victims of the Northeast Delhi violence in February last year, the Delhi Police officials allegedly raided the office of the advocate again on February 9. The Delhi Police (Special Cell) had obtained a search warrant on March 4 from a local court to seize a computer from Pracha’s office.

The warrant, the police claimed, authorised the investigating officer to search and seize Pracha’s office computer having primary documents earlier accessed by the police in December last year. Pracha claimed, however, that nearly a hundred police personnel landed up at his office in his absence without prior intimation. “About a hundred Delhi Police officials came to visit my office and take my computer today. I was not there. The officials called to inform me that they had reached my office premises for a raid,” Pracha told the media, adding, “"It is an effort to silence my voice. We have submitted a complaint to chief metropolitan magistrate. They have summoned the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell).”

Pracha claimed he had not been given prior information by the Delhi Police and that the officials deliberately chose a time when he would be required in court. “I had to go to court for cross-examining one of the Delhi Police officers. The officer in the case is the same one who ordered the raids. They had two weeks to raid the office but chose a day when I would be in court,” he said.

The raid follows the one on December 24, 2020, at Pracha’s office in New Delhi to search for “incriminating document” and “metadata” from his office email account. During that 15-hour-long raid the police seized his laptop. The police had then accused Pracha of forging a notary stamp on an official document, for which an FIR was filed. The advocate had claimed then too that the search warrant was an attempt to intimidate him.

Pracha is representing many victims of the North East Delhi violence, and some of the cases are in advance stage of hearing. He had earlier represented the Shaheen Bagh women when they were subjected to allegations of deriving pecuniary benefits from their anti-CAA protests.

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