Patna, Oct.16: State Forensic Science Laboratory (SFSL) authorities have pledged to hand over a DNA test machine to the police headquarters by the end of this month.
“The process to install the equipment at our laboratory is almost complete. We expect to hand over the facility to the police headquarters by the end of October,” SFSL director Umesh Kumar Sinha said today.
The police headquarters had asked Sinha to expedite the installation of the DNA test machine in the wake of the recent Madhubani violence.
A missing teenaged boy from Madhubani, whose purported death sparked off a wave of violence in the north Bihar district, was yesterday spotted in New Delhi along with his girlfriend. Prashant Jha (17) and the girl were found at Mehrauli in New Delhi on a day the Opposition called a bandh in the state to protest the violence in Madhubani that left two persons dead. Chief minister Nitish Kumar had also blamed his administration for “failing” to handle the situation arising out of the boy’s disappearance.
Sources in the police department said the violence in Madhubani could have been averted had there been a facility to conduct DNA tests in Patna. DNA samples are usually sent either to Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in Calcutta or CFSL, Hyderabad. “It takes more than a month to receive reports from the two laboratories,” a police officer said.
The violence was the fall-out of a dispute over handing over the headless body of a youth to the parents of Prashant, a Class X student of Indian Public School, who went missing from Madhubani about a month ago. “The DNA test would have confirmed whether the body of the youth recovered on October 3, 2012, was that of Prashant or not,” the officer said.
“The police could not hand over the body to Prashant’s family even after it was identified by his mother and grandmother. The police wanted to do so only after a DNA test. But for this, the police required samples of Prashant’s parents, who did not agree to it,” he added.
Sinha, the SFSL director, said DNA tests would start in the state capital by November. “The proposal to appoint laboratory technicians and scientists has been submitted to the government. The posts have been sanctioned,” he added.
At least five to six trained personnel would be required to operate the machines, parts of which have been purchased from abroad. “The infrastructure to install the machine has been developed under the supervision of senior officers and technical experts,” Sinha said.
Purchased at an expenditure of about Rs 2.5 crore, the DNA test machines were lying unused at SFSL for many years because of lack of infrastructure. Sinha said Rs 50 lakh had been spent on developing infrastructure at the laboratory.