A state-of-the-art DNA profiling centre was opened in Pune on Wednesday to help the armed forces in identifying mutilated or charred dead bodies during a war or mishap.
"The DNA data will help us in identifying the dead bodies of service personnel and will also ensure that all bodies get respectful disposal," director general of armed forces medical services Lt Gen H L Kakaria, said while inaugrating the 50th Annual Armed Forces Medical Research Conference in Pune.
"This facility for the armed forces will initially develop as a repository of identification data of the troops engaged in hazardous duties and then be expanded to cover the entire armed forces. In the near future the repository will be available for research and preventive health activities for genetic illnesses," he said.
The DNA Repository and Profiling Centre is located in the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology of the Armed Forces Medical College.
Lt Gen Kakria said that it will initially take off as a pilot project wherein it will be tried on the locals there. Once successful, we will take it to forward areas and then to the rest of the country," he said.
Citing reasons for establishing the centre, he said many armed forces personnel were often lost in a disaster, accident or other unfortunate events. 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.
He said, "DNA profile of an individual is unique. It is the only foolproof scientific method of establishing identity. The identity of the deceased can be easily established by DNA profiling, provided the DNA profile of the individual is available in a data bank with the authorities."