The Telegraph
Friday , December 7 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Modern speech lab to bust crime
- Equipment & software at facility will help police solve cases involving recorded voices

Dec. 6: Investigators here will no longer have to depend on outside agencies for voice analysis and identification of original voices to crack criminal cases if things go as planned.

The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Assam, situated here at Kahilipara will soon have a computerised speech laboratory which will assist police and other investigation agencies to solve cases involving any recorded voices.

Director of the laboratory R.N. Khound today told this correspondent that the process for procuring the equipment and software required for analysis of recorded voice and their identification was on and they were expecting the facility to be ready during the current financial year.

“Once the facility is ready, we will be able to analyse any recorded voices and help police and investigators to identify the original one. For example, in case of a threat call on a mobile phone if the voice is recorded, our experts at the speech laboratory will be able to identify the original voice and help in investigation,” Khound said.

Khound said the facility was expected to be set up under its physics department but they are now contemplating to open a new set-up for the speech laboratory.

Sources in the FSL said the speech laboratory would have latest core software for acquisition, playback, editing and analysis of sounds using standard soundcard, digital filtering, phonetic database and multi-speech analysis.

“With increasing use of mobile phones and other gadgets, police and criminal investigation departments often come across cases where they have to deal with recorded voice of a person to crack a criminal case. In that case, they have to identify the original voice to identify the person in question. Besides, there are cases when people resort to doctoring of person’s voice and files complaints. In order to prove such cases, they collect the original voice of the person and send both for analysis, matching and identification. And the voice recording cases are getting complicated day-by-day and require proper analysis. Keeping in mind of the need, we had submitted a proposal to the government for setting up a computerised speech laboratory and was accordingly approved,” the source said.

Set up in Shillong in 1967 and later shifted to Kahilipara in 1969, the FSL at present has 11 departments and has been helping the police and investigation departments not only from across the Northeast but also from neighbouring West Bengal and Sikkim .

The departments are ballistic, biology, chemistry, drugs and narcotics, explosives, instrumentation, photography, physics, questioned documents, serology and toxicology.

The police and investigators here have to depend on outside agencies like Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in Chandigarh for analysis of voice samples and identification because of absence of a speech laboratory. “During the recent GS Road molestation case, the police had to send some voice samples for proper analysis to Chandigarh,” the source said.

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