TwoCircles.net (TCN), an online not-for-profit news portal, has received an “intimidating” letter from Mumbai Police to delete or block an interview of senior lawyer Mehmood Pracha in which he accused Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria of saving “real terrorists”.
On March 19, TCN published the detailed interview (Rakesh Maria was Actively Saving the Real Terrorists: Advocate Pracha) along with video. In the interview, Adv Pracha spoke about Himayat Baig, a convict in German bakery blast case who has been given clean chit by National Investigation Agency (NIA).
As defending lawyer of Baig, Adv. Pracha found out that “the Maharashtra ATS led by Mr. Rakesh Maria was responsible in not only falsely implicating Himayat Baig, but also in the process actively saving the real terrorists.”
He also pointed out that ATS then led by Rakesh Maria “not only implicated an innocent called Mr Himayat Baig, but they also saved the real terrorists, as three other agencies have also stated. So as a citizen, I have a duty to inform for a cognizable offence to the relevant authority and the court.”
After the interview published, Cyber Crime Investigation Cell of Crime Branch (Mumbai) reacted on the same day by sending the letter to TCN to take the story off from site and furnish details of users at their site including their login/logout timings, user creation details, and their available alternative email IDs.
While standing by what he said, Adv Pracha told TCN: “This is a clear case of shooting the messenger for the story is based on my interview. If they find anything offensive, they first needed to send me a notice.”
TCN Editor Kashif-ul-Huda called it “an attempt by Mumbai Police to scare us in taking down the story”. He added: “It would have been better if they had responded to the serious allegation by a senior advocate.”
Reacting to the development, Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) said Adv Pracha has been fighting over 70 terror cases in Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujrat, Andhra Pradesh and UP.
“We request all the justice loving peoples and members of the civil society to raise their voice against these cowardly attempts to silent to voice of oppressed and demand that Government of India should take strong action against these anti nationals elements who are the biggest threat to the Indian security, sovereignty, integrity as well as the Constitution,” said APCR in a statement.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kashif responded to the mail from Mumbai Police saying that he is in discussion with the lawyers for advice and will soon respond accordingly.