A Delhi court on Friday sought a status report from the police by January 5 in relation to the search it conducted at the office premises of Advocate Mehmood Pracha, earlier this week, PTI reported. Pracha has been fighting cases on behalf of many accused in the communal riots that broke out in Delhi in February.
The Patiala House trial court in the national Capital was hearing an application moved by Pracha seeking preservation of copies of the video footage of the raids conducted by Delhi Police at his office on Thursday, reported Live Law. The court has also asked the investigating officer of the case to be present in the next hearing on December 27 and produce the entire video footage of the search.
In his application, Pracha submitted that he was entitled to a copy of the footage and that the investigating officer threatened to build a false case against him, PTI reported.
Meanwhile on Saturday morning, the Counter Intelligence Unit of Delhi Police Special Cell lodged a First Information Report against Pracha for allegedly obstructing a public servant from discharging public duty by using criminal force, ANI reported. Investigation was underway in that matter as well.
On Thursday, the Delhi Police raided Pracha’s office in connection with its investigation into the large-scale communal violence that broke out in the Capital in February. Pracha said the investigators seized his computer and laptop, while the police said they were searching for “incriminating documents” and “metadata of outbox” of the official email address of Pracha’s firm. In August, the police had filed a first information report against Pracha, alleging that the advocate had “tutored” victims to give false statements in riot-related cases.
Clashes had broken out between supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing it between February 23 and 26 in North East Delhi, killing 53 people and injuring hundreds. The Delhi Police were accused of either inaction or complicity in some instances of violence, mostly in Muslim neighbourhoods.
The Delhi Police claim the violence was part of a larger conspiracy to defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and was hatched by those who organised the protests against the amended Citizenship Act. They further claimed the protestors had secessionist motives and were using “the façade of civil disobedience” to destabilise the government. The police have arrested several activists and students based on these “conspiracy” charges.