Many riots victims allege that police are forcing them to give false statements against Adv Pracha.
Syed Khalique Ahmed | India Tomorrow
NEW DELHI—After the Delhi Police (Special Cell) raid the office of Adv Mehmood Pracha in Nizamuddin East, many Delhi riot victims have alleged that the police are bringing pressure on them either to withdraw their cases or drop Advocate Mehmood Pracha as their defence counsel and instead, hire an advocate suggested by the police itself.
These allegations were made by the riot victims at a press conference after a team of the Delhi police conducted a raid on the office of Adv Pracha on Thursday. The raid that began at 12 noon on December 24, continued till after 3 am on December 25.
One of the victims identifying himself as Wasim said that he was publicly beaten up by the police during February riots and forced to sing national anthem. He was made to sing national anthem because the protesters at almost all venues of the protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) used to sing national anthem individually as well as collectively to mobilise the people against the new citizenship law. He said when he went to the Jyoti Nagar Police Station in Shahdara district, the police refused to register an FIR and sent him back, alleging the police threatened to implicate him in false cases and ruin his life if he persisted with filing an FIR.
Wasim said that after someone informed him about Adv Pracha, he went to him and an FIR was finally registered after Adv Pracha took up his case.
Wasim alleged that the police were now asking him to disengage Adv Pracha.
Another riot victim Mohammed Nasir Khan, who lost vision in one of his eyes due to police beating, alleged that an FIR in his case was not registered despite approaching senior police officials and writing a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah. He says that FIR was registered only after intervention of Adv Pracha. But the police now were asking him to either withdraw the case or at least appoint an advocate offered by the police. The police, he alleges, are threatening him of dire consequences if he continued Adv Pracha as his counsel. He says the police are doing this to weaken his case. Not only the police, he said even the accused persons named in his FIR were threatening him.
Sahil Pervez, a riot victim from Ghonda, said that an FIR against accused persons in his case was registered only after he met Adv Pracha two months after the attack on him during the riots. He said as many as 16 accused had been arrested so far with the efforts of Adv Pracha.
A relative of Mahboob Alam, who was shot dead in the riots, said that he was jailed by the police as he was trying tohelp the family members of Alam for filing a criminal case against the accused persons with the help of Adv Pracha. He alleged that police were asking him to give a statement in writing that a false complaint was prepared by Adv Pracha in Alam’s case. The police, he alleged, assured him that the case against him would be quashed if he complied.
Another victim Firoz Akhtar said that police was regularly asking him to disengage Adv Pracha. Khurshid Saifi of Mustafabad, who lost vision in one of his eyes due to attack on him during riots, said it was police that was pressurising him to change his advocate and engage some one other than Pracha. Akram, whose both hands were chopped off in the riots, said that policemen in plainclothes came to his house and threatened him with serious consequences if he did not disengage Adv Pracha.
Police refused to register an FIR in connection with loot of the house of Mohammed Salim in Ghonda. He alleged that the police, instead, booked five cases against him when he approached them to file a case against the accused involved in looting of his house. He said that an FIR was finally lodged with the intervention of Adv Pracha. He is also being asked by the police to withdraw the case or disengage Adv Pracha.
Sameena alias Shanno, residing in an area under Bhajanpura Police Station, said that the rioters had attacked her house and even tried to set it afire but the police did not register FIR. She alleged when she moved the court with the help of Adv Pracha for filing of FIR against the accused persons, an effort was made by the accused to kill her son in a road accident. Her husband Mohammad Salim was intercepted at ISBT flyover at gunpoint and he was robbed of his mobile phone that was having video footage of the accused attacking their house. Despite registration of FIR, police did not arrest the accused.
The accused, Shanno said, came to her house on August 8 again and misbehaved with her and other family members. When she went to Bhajanpura Police Station with her daughter to lodge complaint, the policemen on duty dragged them and beat them up badly.