DNA profiling to help identify lost soldiers
Pune: In order to conclusively establish the identity of deceased Indian soliders, a Rs 2.5 crore DNA profiling centre is all set to become functional this month at
the city based Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC).
The centre will be housed in the Department of Forensic
Medicine and Toxicology of AFMC with a repository/ data bank
of DNA profile of Armed Forces personnel, initially covering
those employed in hazardous tasks such as bomb disposal,
flying fighter planes, research in explosive materials as well
as the troops deployed in militancy infested areas.
"Subsequently the facility can be extended to all members
of Armed Forces," according to Lt Gen H L Kakria, director
general, Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) who described
the setting up of the DNA profiling centre as "a long felt
need" on Saturday.
Elaborating on the importance of having the centre for
Indian Armed forces, Lt Gen Kakria said, "At present the
identity of deceased armed forces personnel is established
basically by methods like examining personal belongings on the
dead body, studying the identification marks, comparing with
photographs etc. However, these methods become futile in
circumstances where there is extensive mutilation,
disfigurement and decompositon of the body."
The centre would collect blood samples of 1,000 soldiers
in a pilot project for analysis and gruadually cover 1.13
million soliders of the Indian Army, he said.
"The DNA profiling centre will have a far reaching
implication for the Armed Forces in the years to come helping
us to identify soliders who are lost in battles and cannot be
identified," Lt Gen Kakria said.