The Mumbai Police’s Cyber Crime Cell has sent summons to the editorial department of US-based website TwoCircles.net, asking it to block and provide details on two online links of interviews pertaining to allegations against the city’s top cop, Rakesh Maria, by lawyer Mehmood Pracha.
According to the letter mailed by the Cyber Cell, the two articles — based on separate interviews of Pracha — headlined “Rakesh Maria should be arrested for conducting activities which are terror related: Advocate Pracha” and “Substantive evidence against police of aiding and abetting the real terrorists: Advocate Pracha” have been asked to be pulled down.
Pracha, who is defending German Bakery bombing convict Himayat Baig, has alleged that Maria should be arrested for implicating an “innocent” man in the blast probe. In one of the interviews by journalist M Reyaz, the article quotes Pracha as having “substantive evidence” against Maria, and accuses him “of using underworld to threaten him”.
Pracha confirmed that he had made the allegations in the two interviews. “If Rakesh Maria finds whatever I have said defamatory, he should send a legal notice to me.”
When contacted, editor of TwoCircles.net Kashif Ul-Huda in an email response said, “We see it as an attempt by Mumbai Police to scare us in taking down the story.”
The summon, mailed on Wednesday, read: “It is submitted that a false and grossly offensive comments are found to posted in the above mentioned links, which are causing annoyance, inconvenience, insult and hatred to the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai (Maria)”.
Maria however, did not wish to comment on the controversy.