Syed Khalique Ahmed & Masihuzzama Ansari
NEW DELHI—Senior advocate Mehmood Pracha, whose office was raided by more than four dozen sleuths of the Delhi Police Special Cell on Thursday, has alleged that the raids were conducted because he had exposed police in all that happened during the riots in the Northeast Delhi riots.
Pracha, who was not allowed to come out of his office during the raid, however, managed to talk to mediapersons and advocates from the balcony of the second floor of his office in Nizamuddin East for about two minutes. He said, “I will expose all that has happened in the Northeast Delhi and what the police are doing in this connection. I am not afraid of (Union Home Minister) Amit shah. Amit Shah wants to hide what happened during the riots. But I will not allow that to happen. I will expose all the accused of Northeast Delhi riots. Through Constitution, law and courts, I will ensure that each and every policeman, who worked against the demands of Constitution and justice during the riots, is sent behind bars”.
“No matter how much I am harassed, I will see that the real culprits involved in Northeast Delhi riots are punished. I am not afraid of anybody”, he declared.
Pracha, who is fighting dozens of cases of the Northeast Delhi riot victims, alleged that “the cops conducting raid at my office, have threatened that they will seize my computers and other equipment and ruin my legal practice if I don’t produce evidence against myself. Hence, I am offering them to search my office, residence, computers and even my bathroom. I have asked them not to go back without doing all these things. They have searched even my bathroom”.
He alleged that the cops had also seized his mobile phone and those of his colleagues working in his office. “I have lost my communication with the rest of the world”, he said.
“I will follow the Constitution of India, the Constitution of Babasaheb Ambedkar even if I have to give up my life for it. I will never surrender to Amit shah’s law”, Pracha said. The raid that began at 12 in the noon was continuing till the filing of this report.
“I have been caged in my own office. Investigation Officer (IO) told me that I can’t talk to my client, lawyer or even media”, he said.
“But don’t worry. Nothing will happen. The Constitution will win”, he said, asking his well-wishers and mediapersons to disperse from outside his office around 5.30 pm.
The raids were conducted in connection with an FIR No 212/2020 by the Delhi Police Special Cell. The police had obtained a search warrant from a court in this connection. Pracha said that the search warrant did not authorize police persons to seize documents from his office. “The seizure of materials from my office on the basis of the warrant is illegal “, he said in a video shared with media.
The search warrant says, “This is to authorize and require investigating officer of this case to search for the said incriminating documents and meta data of out of box of email ID, wherever they may be found whether in computer or in the office/premises of Sh Mehmood Pracha.” It also directs the police “to conduct the search during day hours and that there be videography of the search proceedings to ensure fairness”.