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Meghalaya: Absence of Forensic Lab and DNA testing centre irks residents

From Our Correspondent | October 21, 2018

Tura: The absence of Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) and a DNA testing centre in state has added to the woes of state residents, especially the police personnel who face inconvenience in solving criminal cases at a faster and better rate.

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In this regard, various residents of the state today sought the set up of a Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) and a DNA testing centre within the state to ease the problems being faced by police authorities.

Currently the state does not have the above mentioned laboratories and the only option is to take samples to the city of Kolkata in West Bengal. The FSL lab in Assam’s Guwahati does not suffice for the state leading to them rejecting any request from the state of Meghalaya for testing.

“For testing DNA, the sample has to be fresh (up to 6 hours) but if you look at the state of affairs, just collecting the samples and getting them to Guwahati takes that time. Imagine if the sample has to come from Baghmara in SGH. It will take 10 hours to even get out of our state. This delay defeats the purpose of testing as the samples are soiled,” said a resident of Resubelpara, Willness Marak.

Marak added that the previous MUA government led by Dr Mukul Sangma, had earmarked land in Mawdiangdiang locality.

“The office has been set up but the equipments and personnel have not been assigned yet. The government should take this as a starting point and quickly develop the centre. It will benefit people immensely. Further sample kits should be made available in all PS and hospitals in the state,” added Wilness.

Further they pointed to the lack of amenities to the police teams that carry the same samples for testing to Kolkata and beyond.

“The policemen/women (normally a SI) carrying the FSL/DNA samples don’t have sanction for travel by air. The most they can get is train fare. Given that the samples have to be provided to the labs within 12 hours, it is impossible to carry them in a train on time. They have to bear the airfare as otherwise the purpose would be defeated,” stated one SR Sangma from Tura.

Further many pointed out that even fooding and travelling charges by policemen when called to headquarters or outside the state are borne by the officers themselves.

“There is nothing given to them, including food and everything is paid for by them. On such meager salaries how are they supposed to make ends meet if so much money goes just for travel itself,” asked another Tura resident, AM Marak.

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