To overcome language hurdle in completing legal formalities against arrested Somali pirates,the Yellow Gate police in Mumbai have sought help from unlikely quarters students of the University of Pune. A fortnight ago,they appointed five students from the varsity as translators to help with the cases against the pirates in a fast-track court.
The police had produced the 28 suspects in court on February 11. The court ordered the police to inform the Somalian Embassy and get a translator if their custody was to be extended. The prosecution had submitted that the pirates did not understand Marathi,Hindi or English,and were questioned through signs and gestures.
The police approached the university and appointed five students to help them and the public prosecutor examine the pirates.
Yellow Gate police said the students would be paid for their help. Two of them are from Ethiopia,two from Somalia and one is from Uganda.
Each would be requested to come to court or the police station as and when needed,and will be paid Rs 3,000 per session, said inspector M G Tope.
The police refused to reveal the identities of the students. These men understand the Somali language. However,they are young and we are worried if they will be able to deal with the pirates, said a police officer.
The Navy had rounded up 120 pirates last year,and rescued 70 hostages belonging to Thailand,Philippines,Bangladesh,Iran,Turkey,Myanmar and Pakistan.
Yellow Gate police had earlier written to the Ministry of External Affairs for an official translator.