Delhi Police Raid Office of Lawyer and Activist Mehmood Pracha

This is just one of the many isolated instances of attack against citizens who have been fighting for justice.

Credits: ThePrint

The Delhi Police special cell raided the office of lawyer and activist Mehmood Pracha on December 24.

The raid was based on a warrant from a local court to search for “incriminating documents” and “metadata of outbox” of the official email of Pracha’s law firm.

The policemen who had entered Pracha’s office in Nizamuddin were wearing very ordinary clothes, leading Pracha to doubt their authenticity, and the search warrant. He initially filed a police complaint that imposters dressed as police personnel were visiting the office to steal his data.

The Delhi Police denied the claim and said that they had indeed been given a warrant by the local court to carry out an investigation.

The raid which begun at around 12:30 PM was carried out until late morning at 2:45 AM. The team of fifty special cell members had brought two laptops and a printer with them to collect all information on the laptops- including sensitive case details.

Pracha has called the raid an “attack on the lawyer’s community.”

Attack on Free Speech

Mehmood Pracha was a key personality in the Anti-CAA-NRC protests that had been taking place around the country since last year. He had also represented many free-speech activists like Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad in relation to the same.

Pracha was also prominent in the Delhi Riots case, and he had represented many of the accused, including student activist Gulfisha Fatima, who had been prosecuted under the UAPA law.

The current raid also seemed to be an attempt to intimidate the activist and lawyer. Although Pracha was able to stand his ground from what was seen in the videos surfacing on social media. He also strongly believes that the attack was because he had many photographs and videos against Amit Shah and RSS.

He was seen negotiating with the police, saying he could not share any details, as it was against the ‘client-attorney privilege.’ He added that they would have to scan the computers by themselves if they needed any details.

Delhi Police Justifications

The Police had claimed that the raid was being conducted in connection to an FIR filed on 22 August for providing false information to the court, cheating, forgery, and criminal conspiracy when a riot accused had claimed that the lawyer had asked him to fake a deposition and frame three people in the riots cases.

Pracha had denied the claim outright on 22 August.

The Delhi Police put out a statement in response to Pracha’s allegation of a raid by imposters, in which they stated:

During the course of a bail matter pertaining to an accused of the NED riots, use of a forged notary stamp and creation of allegedly false/manipulated evidence at the hands of certain members of the bar was noticed. The learned special court had observed that the same required thorough investigation. Pursuant to this, a criminal case under appropriate sections of law was registered and investigation was taken up.

This is just one of the many isolated instances of attack against citizens who have been fighting for justice. The UAPA and NIA acts have caused the illegal detention of anyone who threatens or critiques the Modi Government.

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