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Kashmiri Pandit's key role in Geelani's acquittal

By Luv Puri

SRINAGAR OCT. 30. A Kashmiri Pandit seems to have played a key role in the acquittal of the Delhi University lecturer, Syed Abdul Rehman Geelani, in the Parliament attack case.

On the basis of the translation by a Kashmiri police officer, the recorded conversation between Mr. Geelani and his younger brother was produced as evidence by the prosecution against the former.

It was then that Sampat Prakash, a veteran trade union leader of Jammu and Kashmir, was approached by the Defence Committee [for Geelani] to act as translator.

Talking to The Hindu, Mr. Sampat Prakash said, "I was contacted by the Defence Committee to do the translation. Many people advised me against it as the accused was charged with masterminding the Parliament attack. But, I decided to go and just do my job as per the factual reality".

"On hearing the recorded cassette minutely and seriously, several times sentence by sentence and word by word, I reached the conclusion that a false case had been slapped on the lecturer. The translations made by the police were incorrect."

In the recorded message, Mr. Geelani's brother asks the former in Kashmiri: "Delhi kyah korva?" (What has happened in Delhi?), and the prosecution had cited this as evidence of Mr. Geelani's involvement in the conspiracy.

Mr. Sampat Prakash said: "Every language is the product of some particular culture. The syntactical pattern in the Kashmiri language is radically different from that of English. The thematic communication of a sentence gets altered with the mode of delivery. An assertive sentence changes into an interrogative one by a change in the delivery pitch. `Ye kyah korva? Dilli kya korva?' does not connote any kind of inquiry. It connotes wonder at a happening. Even the translator appointed by the police agreed with my argument".

On Mr. Geelani's acquittal, he said, "It is a moment of joy for all the people working for close to two years on behalf of him".

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