| The Jorhat inter-state bus terminus where the laboratory will come up |
Guwahati, Nov. 20: Assam will soon get its second forensic science laboratory, 45 years after the first one was set up.
“The proposed regional forensic science laboratory, to be set up in Jorhat, is likely to become operational from January next year,” director of forensic science, Assam, Rajendra Nath Khound, told The Telegraph today.
He said the new laboratory, to be set up at the inter-state bus terminus complex in Jorhat at a cost of about Rs 11 crore, would provide a boost to scientific investigation of crimes in the Upper Assam districts of Golaghat, Jorhat, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Lakhimpur.
The laboratory, which will be headed by an officer of the rank of joint director, will initially have four independent divisions, which are likely to be chemistry, physics, biology and ballistics and explosives.
Each division will be headed by an official of the rank of deputy director, who will have a team of scientific officials and laboratory technicians under him.
“More divisions will be added in a phased manner to make it a full-fledged laboratory,” Khound said.
“The proposal to set up a regional laboratory at Jorhat materialised because of the initiative taken by chief minister Tarun Gogoi and home secretary G.D. Tripathi,” he added.
The new laboratory is expected to reduce the workload of the Forensic Science Laboratory, Assam, at Kahilipara in Guwahati.
The FSL, the only forensic laboratory in the state so far, was first established in Shillong, the then capital of undivided Assam, in 1967. It was shifted to Guwahati in 1969 and subsequently shifted to its permanent campus at Kahilipara in 1978.
“Setting up of a new laboratory at Jorhat will help police and other security agencies get prompt forensic results. It will enable forensic experts to reach a crime scene in Upper Assam faster,” Khound said.
At present, forensic experts from Guwahati have to rush to a crime spot in Upper Assam, which is time-consuming and inconvenient.
“The new laboratory will be of great help, though, ideally, we require another regional laboratory in Barak valley as well as a couple of district laboratories, preferably in Bongaigaon and Tezpur,” the director said.
He said states like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have more than one government-owned forensic science laboratories besides those in the private sector.