A group of northeast Delhi riot victims on Friday alleged that they have been pressured to withdraw their complaints and give statements against an advocate who helped them. The victims held a press conference at Press Club of India in the national capital on Friday evening and came forward in support of senior advocate Mehmood Pracha whose office was searched by police a day earlier.
They claimed that after the riots in February this year when no government or law enforcement agencies provided assistance to them, Pracha stood by and provided legal assistance and other possible help free of cost. Mohammad Mumtaaz (27), a resident of Khajuri, alleged that he was coerced into withdrawing his case.
My restaurant was vandalised and burnt on February 23 around 8 pm. We have been pressured by authorities and local leaders to withdraw our case and give statements against Mehmood Pracha to lodge false cases. They also said that they will give compensation to us, Mumtaaz said. Wasim, who was allegedly beaten by police personnel during the riots to sing the national anthem, said, Policemen refused to register an FIR on my complaint. I got to know about Pracha. He helped me in getting the police complaint. Police asked me disengage myself from Pracha, alleged Wasim.
Firoz Akhtar (42), another victim of the riots, said that he was also pressured not to associate with Pracha. “I was attacked during the riots when I was offering namaz in a mosque at Mustafabad area. I have been receiving calls and being pressured not to be associated with Pracha, Akhtar said.
On Thursday, the Delhi Police searched premises of two advocates — Mehmood Pracha and Javed Ali — in a case related to alleged use of forged documents as genuine in judicial records in a northeast Delhi riots case. According to police, two teams were formed and sent to Nizamuddin and Yamuna Vihar on Thursday. One team completed its tasks with cooperation of Ali, who is an advocate in Yamuna Vihar. The other one was heckled, obstructed and verbally abused by Pracha and his associates at Nizamuddin West, they claimed.