Srinagar forensic lab to get first DNA testing facility

The forensic science laboratory in Srinagar will soon have a state-of-the art DNA testing facility in place, officials said on Sunday.

Director FSL Anand Jain told Greater Kashmir that time is over when they had to send even small samples for testing to the Chandigarh FSL. 

“The modalities to have first-ever DNA testing facility in place at the FSL Srinagar have been completed. We will soon receive a consignment of the new testing equipment,” he said.

Once the equipment reaches Srinagar, all important tests will be conducted here only, Jain said.

“We won’t be dependent on the Chandigarh FSL anymore,” he said, adding that the DNA testing facility at the Srinagar FSL will be a “milestone achievement”.

About shortage of manpower including scientists at the FSL Kashmir and FSL Jammu, Jain said the recruitment process for both places has been prioritised. 

“Within a short span of time, all the posts will be filled up through a proper procedure. There will be fast-track recruitment to tide over the shortage of staff,” he said. 

At present 40 percent staff has been brought from the police headquarters to manage the affairs of FSL Jammu and Srinagar, a source said.

As per the norms, each FSL discipline should have one officer, two assistant scientific officers, two laboratory assistants and two laboratory attendants.

The previous PDP-BJP government in reply to a query raised in the state legislative assembly in 2017 had admitted that out of 20 sanctioned posts in the department, nine were lying vacant.

According to an official, almost 90 percent of existing staff at the FSLs (in Jammu and Srinagar) would retire by 2020. Over the past more than a decade, vacant posts were never advertised, hitting the work at the FSLs badly, he said.  “Procurement of various testing equipment over the years also faced a huge delay,” the official said, wising not to be named as he wasn’t authorised to speak with media.  “Many gadgets and equipment including testing machines developed faults and were never repaired”. He said the FSL Srinagar also lacks fingerprint experts and even small samples were being sent for testing to the Chandigarh FSL.

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