After 15 hours of uncertainty, at around 3 AM on Friday, police climbed down the stairs of Delhi pogrom victims’ lawyer, Mehmood Pracha’s office, violating the search warrant guideline which restricts raid to be conducted only during day hours.
“It was monitored by Amit Shah,” Pracha responded after the raid to Maktoob.
“They have been doing this to my clients as well. They want to silence me after I went after the real culprits of Delhi riots.”
According to his juniors, the raid began at 12:40 PM on Thursday. The Delhi Police has reportedly said that the raid was based on a warrant from a local court to search for “incriminating documents” and “metadata of outbox” of the official email address of Pracha’s law firm.
Women, working in Pracha’s office, came out of the balcony and made distress calls several times to the journalists and crowd about physical assaults.
Although the warrant, accessed by Maktoob, says the search has to be conducted during day hours, investigation team left only in the early morning.
The search warrant order, issued on December 22, reads as: “Whereas information has been laid before me of the commission of offences punishable under section 182, 193, 420, 468, 471, 472, 473, 120B and it has been made to appear to me that incriminating data comprising false complaint and meta data of outbox of email account which was used to send incriminating documents are essential to the investigation of FIR 212/20 of Police Station Special Cell, New Delhi.”
Pracha claims he fully cooperated with the raid but objected illegal seizure of sensitive data which would go against his oath.
“They asked me to give some data. I told them I can’t because it is against client-attorney privilege . I won’t give it even if I was shot.”
Pracha said he had video recordings of police personal manhandling him. “They even searched our toilets”.
Pracha also alleged that the video recorder was off several times, including the time they allegedly Manhandled him.
“Even though they know I have spinal pain, they charged,” Pracha told media.
Police made no comments on the allegations and left the place immediately.
Meanwhile, Pracha’s clients, victims of Delhi pogrom, camped outside extending solidarity.
“We are also intimidated by police to not give our case to Pracha sir. But we want him to fight our case,” one of the victims declared.
“I have filed many cases against the BJP and RSS leaders who unleashed violence. They know I will go after them,” adds Pracha.
Pracha declared that he will continue his work with gripping hands-on Ambedkar’s constitution.