Guwahati, Oct. 26: The National Investigation Agency is planning to recruit forensic experts for its Guwahati branch to conduct scientific and expeditious investigation into cases.
“The NIA has started scouting for forensic experts for its branch office in Guwahati which covers the northeastern states,” an official source told The Telegraph today.
The source said the anti-terror probe agency intends to engage forensic experts on a contractual basis and they have approached some retired officials of the state forensic science laboratory at Kahilipara.
“The plan is to recruit the forensic experts for a fixed period of time, which can be extended if necessary,” he said, adding that the recruitment is likely to take place next month.
According to the source, the NIA plans to recruit experts in fingerprints, questioned documents, ballistics and explosives, who will be stationed in Guwahati and equipped with necessary gadgetry.
“They will also be able to utilise state-of-the-art forensic tools and equipment available at the NIA headquarters in New Delhi on a need basis,” he said.
“This will reduce the dependence of the Guwahati branch upon the Central Forensic Science Laboratories and the state forensic science laboratory here at Kahilipara, which are already overburdened with work from other security agencies, resulting in delay in investigation of cases,” the source said.
He said during investigation of the case numbers 1 and 2 of 2009 registered at NIA headquarters in New Delhi, the agency had taken help of the state forensic laboratory at Kahilipara.
“In fact, these two cases, relating to diversion of funds for Dima Hasao Autonomous Council to the militant coffers, were the first cases registered by the NIA after it was set up by the Centre in the aftermath of 2008 Mumbai terror attacks to investigate cases related to terror,” he said.
“Having our own forensic experts will help the NIA to build its cases based on scientific evidence, which can stand judicial scrutiny and will come handy during the trial,” he said.
“Forensic experts examine the exhibits or evidence found at the crime scene and render opinion and substantiate them in the courts through testimony and evidence,” he added.
Apart from the one in Guwahati, another branch office of the agency is in Hyderabad. The NIA had taken up some very significant and sensitive cases in the Northeast, including the alleged nexus between Manipur’s PLA and Maoists, alleged procurement of arms by senior NSCN (I-M) functionary Anthony Shimray from China and subversive activities of Manipur-based militant groups such as UNLF and KCP.
“Moreover, the agency is also investigating Maoist activities in Assam and has made a couple of arrests in this connection from Upper Assam as well as Bengal,” the source said.