TCN’s (TwoCircles.net) interview of Senior counsel Mehmood Pracha irked Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria. Following the publication of the interview, Mumbai Police (Crime Branch) sent an “intimidating” letter to TCN asking to block/delete the interview and provide log details of users. Lateef Mohammed Khan of Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee (CLMC) has written a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister demanding explanation regarding threatening to TCN. We have reproduced the letter for our readers. – Editor
Open Letter to Chief Minister Maharashtra
Shri Prithviraj Dajisaheb Chavan,
Chief Minister of Maharashtra,
Madam Cama Road,
Nariman Point, Mumbai – 400032
Dear Chief Minister,
Sub: Demand of explanation regarding threatening to TCN news website and Advocate Mahmood Pracha – Reg.
Ref: O.W. No. 1221/MGP/CCIG/14 dt. 19 March 2014 of Crime Branch, CID, Mumbai
With the reference to the subject cited above, Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee came to know that the Cyber branch of CID, Mumbai city who works directly under your supervision has issued a letter in threatening language asking to block the links of TCN and also to provide details of those links such as user details, login details, alternate password etc. only because TCN has published a news item of interview of senior advocate Mahmood Pracha who has exposed some chilling facts about the present commissioner of police, Rakesh Maria who falsely and deliberately implicated Muslim youth in terror related cases. Advocate is continuously receiving threatening calls from international phone numbers and he is accusing underworld don backed by the commissioner.
Dear Chief Minister! It is a matter of grave concern that just on publishing an interview of a defending lawyer, your police issued threatening to the news website which is nothing but Fascism. This act clearly reflects that your police want to suppress the voice of voiceless people and also using all the shameful tactics to intimidate the people those who want to come forward to expose the facts of communal and fascist attitude of your police. In the civil society it is largely believed that Mumbai police always helps the Hindutva dons and treat them as nationalists and coordinate with them to eliminate the Muslim leaders, activists and Muslim advocates. There are strong assumptions that the present commissioner of police is biased, anti-Muslim and a threat to life and liberty of Muslim community.
It is a strange matter that the Congress party to which you belong, that claims to be secular party, appoints such kind of communal person as commissioner of police ignoring senior most Muslim police officer. It is matter of wonder that a communal police officer working under your supervision is directing his subordinates to block the TCN links. Even after three days of this incident, you have not reacted yet and also did not take any explanation from your officer. On the other side, the people who are practicing communal agenda, spreading hatred and threatening the people are spared, for ex: the paper ‘saamna’ in which hatred and communal articles and editorials are published almost every day, no note is taken of it, no letter of deletion or blocking is sent to them. Whereas the media which is bringing facts before people are sent such kind of letters by the CID. What kind of double standard is it?
This committee believes that the act of commissioner of police and the CID is nothing but an attack on freedom of press and freedom of expression. Especially it is a threat to the Muslim advocates, activists and editors. We want to remind that it is the practice of Mumbai police to eliminate the people who expose facts and in the past it was your police with the help of underworld don, who eliminated Advocate Shahid Azmi defending the innocent Muslim youth.
Therefore, for this shameful act of police, this committee held you directly responsible. Because it was you who is supervising this department and appointed such kind of person as chief of police. This committee wants you to act immediately and take immediate action against the commissioner of police and order a judicial probe into the threatening of Advocate Mahmood Pracha and the charges imposed on commissioner of police Rakesh Maria. We also demand you to tender an apology to the TCN news website for imposing restrictions on reportage and fascist act and see that in future such undemocratic practices are not repeated.
Kindly send the action taken report to this committee.
Lateef Mohammed Khan