DNA profiling of soldiers may begin this year

DNA profiling will help recognise bodies mutilated beyond recognition during an attack or mishap.

New Delhi: Armed forces are likely to begin
the DNA profiling of their soldiers this year -- a move that
will help recognise bodies mutilated beyond recognition during
an attack or mishap.

Officials said the profiling centre and data bank, being
set up at the Department of Forensic Medicine in the Armed
Forces Medical College in Pune, will be made functional from
next month.

"The DNA data will help to identify the dead bodies and
will also ensure that all bodies get respectful disposal. This
facility is ready to be functional from February," Director
General, Armed Forces Medical Services, Lt Gen HL Kakaria

Explaining the need for DNA profiling, he said,
"Soldiers, sailors and air warriors are often lost in a
disaster, accident or other unfortunate event. Establishing
the identity of the servicemen from mortal remains recovered
from such situations is critical to establishing death of
individual and providing welfare to the next of kin."

The profiling centre will collect blood samples of the
troops who are involved in hazardous tasks, including fighting
militancy, and store them in a DNA data bank.

"The DNA profiling centre is being established to help in
identification of bodies mutilated beyond recognition. We will
start with a pilot project in Pune wherein it will be tried on
the locals. Once successful, we will take it to forward areas
and then to the rest of the country," Lt Gen Mandeep Singh,
Director General Hospital Services of the Armed Forces said.

The facility will be inaugurated by Lt Gen Kakaria during
the 50th Annual Armed Forces Medical Research Conference to be
held next month.