Rights bodies condemn raid on Mehmood Pracha’s office, say the raid is act of vengeance and intimidation

Muslim leaders and human rights activists have condemned the raid on the office of Mehmood Pracha, who represent some of the victims of Delhi riots. 

Calling out the “raid culture’’ by the government agencies, 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.”

It was on Christmas eve that the Delhi police raided Mehmood Pracha’s officefor 15 long hours. The entire search was videographed and clips of it went viral. Muslim leaders and human rights activists have condemned the act.

The Delhi court on 28 December ordered the preservation of the footage. And Pracha has demanded a copy of the same, pointing out that he was entitled to one. However, the court has said that it can decide on supplying the video footage to Mehmood Pracha at the correct stage. Further, Pracha has also accused a Delhi Police official of threatening him with a false case against him.

Advocate Mehmood Pracha is a lawyer representing many accused and complainants in the North-East Delhi violence case. 

Expressing concern over the ‘raid-culture’, JIH Vice President 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.”

Several demands have also been raised to take strict actions against the guilty police personnel who threatened Pracha. Declaring solidarity with Pracha, Popular Front of India said, “Popular Front has always been with activists and lawyers harassed by the Sangh Parivar.”

All India Lawyers Association For Justice (AILAJ) in a statement said, “Further, there seems to be the larger issue going beyond this case of Delhi riots; wherein lawyers defending civil liberties are systematically intimidated and targeted by the state machinery”.

Popular Front National Secretary, Mohammed Shakif said according to reports, “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”.

The secretary of the Delhi committee of National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (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”, as Media reports say. 

“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,” Indori added. 

Mehmood Pracha is currently pleading several cases related to the Northeast Delhi violence, in which 54 died and around 400 injured. He is representing several student activists who have been unfairly charged under UAPA, including Gulshifa Fatima. 

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