| New tools
Guwahati, July 6: Forensic scientists in the Northeast will have better tools in hand to support crime investigation agencies as a new state-of-the-art central forensic institute is coming up in Assam to cater to the entire region.
A source said a 30-bigha plot had been allotted by the state government in June for establishment of the institute at Palashbari in Kamrup district. Initially, the demand was for a 20-acre plot.
A source said for starters, the institute, which will be under the ministry of home affairs, would operate from a rented building and have some facilities like DNA analysis, among others. “It should start working in another two months,” the source added.
The institute is coming up as part of the modernisation of forensic science applications scheme of the directorate of forensic science under the ministry.
The source said there had been some delay in starting operations as it took some time to find the rented premises and added that it would be at least two years before the institute could operate from its Palashbari premises.
“The idea is to establish state-of-the-art facilities and also train scientists to update their knowledge to a level which ensures that the forensic support to crime investigation agencies would match international standards,” the source said.
The source said forensic technologies needed to be updated, considering the modern technologies used by criminals to execute crimes and added that the institute, which would be able to provide analyses very fast, would be a big help for crime investigation agencies of the region.
There would be eight hi-tech divisions in the proposed institute, also comprising a wildlife forensic unit.
There will also be a digital forensic division having a credit card analysis unit, handheld device forensic analysis unit, network real-time forensic analysis unit and crime scene and disaster-recovery unit.
The DNA division of the institute will have a DNA analysis unit and a DNA database unit, while the cognitive science division will have a lie-detection unit, narco analysis unit and a brain-mapping unit.
The general forensic science division will have a life sciences unit, analy- tical chemistry unit, physi- cal science unit and a poison analysis unit.
The general document division would have a handwriting examination unit, machine-generated document examination unit and a document matrix examination unit.
Currently, there are forensic science laboratories in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura, along with a mini laboratory in Nagaland. The laboratory in Assam is the biggest in the region with 11 independent divisions.