A day after the special cell of Delhi Police conducted raids at the office premises of advocate Mehmood Pracha, the Congress party has now come out in his defence. It is important to note that Pracha had featured in a pro-ISIS media outlet in February this year.
In a tweet on Friday, senior Congress leader Manish Tewari said that he was ‘deeply disturbed’ after the police searched the office of Pracha. While highlighting his personal connections with the accused, he wrote, “A contemporary at Campus Law Centre Delhi University and later my General Secretary Indian Youth Congress when I was National President.”
Manish Tewari calls court warranted search ‘arbitrary harassment’
Calling the police action as ‘arbitrary harassment’, Manish Tewari urged the Bar Council to intervene as soon as possible. It is pertinent to remember that the search by Delhi police was done after obtaining a court warrant and not arbitrarily, as alleged by the Congress leader. The court authorised the police to conduct the search during the day to find evidence and had ordered it to be video recorded.
According to the search warrant, the lawyer has been booked under section 182, 193, 420, 468, 471, 472, 473, 120B of the IPC. It notes that the metadata of outbox of email account which was used to send incriminating documents are essential to the investigation being conducted by the Special Cell of Delhi police. Pracha had been handling a number of cases, related to anti-Hindu Delhi riots.
Mohammed Pracha – The ISIS poster boy
In February this year, a pro-ISIS media outlet had launched an India-centric publication as the country was going through a period of communal turmoil. The publication titled ‘Voice of Hind’ was issued by Al-Qitaal Media Center and Junudul Khilafah al-Hind as per its cover page and featured Mohammed Pracha on its cover page.
The person who was the main focus on the cover page was senior lawyer Mahmood Paracha who has been accused of inciting communal hatred in the past. According to a copy with OpIndia, the first part of the magazine talked about dead IS-JK militants in Kashmir. It showcased pictures and talks about how they started jihad in Kashmir and achieved their goal. Then featured a message from active ISHP militant, identified as ‘Abu Zakariya Al-Hindi’. Further, the magazine reportedly says that there is no place for Nationalism in Islam and Muslims should reject the notion and join the caliphate instead.
Pracha wanted to give weapons training to Muslims
In a press conference last year, Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad and Mahmood Paracha announced that they would be setting up a camp in Lucknow to teach Muslims and Dalits about the ‘right to self-defence’ and how to apply for a firearm licence.
Mahmood Pracha had cited the incidents of mob lynchings and the Sonbhadra massacre as reasons for conducting the camp. According to him, those events wouldn’t have occurred if the victims had legal firearms to defend themselves. They were basically planning to raise an armed militia to combat ‘mob lynchings’, using licenced weapons. Later, Mahmood Paracha was seen holding that training camp inside a Lucknow Mosque where he was training Muslims about how to fill forms for licences and acquire firearms, even though an FIR had been registered against him for his incendiary speech.