Kerala tops in tracking criminals through fingerprints

The state fingerprint bureau cracked 675 criminal cases followed by Karnataka 517 while Andhra Pradesh stood third with 412 cases.
File photo: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (ANI)
File photo: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (ANI)
Updated on Sep 20, 2021 12:14 AM IST
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For criminologists and police, fingerprints are the most valuable evidence in cracking crimes and Kerala police ranked first in the country in tracking offenders through the scientific kit, according to the report of the Central Finger Prints Bureau (CFPB) 2020. Last year Kerala was ranked second after Andhra Pradesh.

According to the report of the CFPB, the state fingerprint bureau cracked 675 criminal cases followed by Karnataka 517 while Andhra Pradesh stood third with 412 cases. The report also carried a special mention about the brilliant work carried out by the state fingerprint bureau and police in cracking the sensational snake bite murder in Kollam in south Kerala last year.

“It is ample proof of the hard work of the state fingerprints bureau backed by technology leveraged effectively for crime prevention and detection. Officers of the bureau assisted by the AFIS software put up a stellar performance in becoming the first,” said state additional director general of police Manoj Abraham, an expert in cyber security.

The country has a Central Finger Print Bureau and every state has its state bureaus that help in the investigation process by using fingerprint science. Fingerprint evidence are most scientific and foolproof. The job of a fingerprint expert is to develop chance prints left by criminals at the crime scene and to match them with the fingerprints in the database of convicts.

When the investigation begins at a crime scene, a finger expert is first to visit the spot to closely observe the site. The expert then develops the chance prints left by criminals at the scene. The collected chance fingerprints are then matched with the fingerprints database. This helps identify if the crime was carried out by someone who is already in the records of the bureau. There is also a National Automated Finger Prints Identification System (NAFIS) to streamline the countrywide process for the database.

The report carried a special mention about the way the police team cracked the sensational murder of 25-year-old Uthra in 2020. Initially, it was dismissed as a mere snake bite case but police and parents got suspicious as this was the second snake bite that proved fatal. She received the fatal bite when she was undergoing treatment for the first bite.

Later, police arrested her husband P Sooraj and a local snake handler who provided a cobra to him. During the investigation, it was found that Sooraj had bought a cobra from the snake handler after paying him 10,000. He also got the necessary training from the handler. He reportedly took it to Uthra’s house in Anchal, where she had been undergoing treatment at her parents’ place since the first incident.

The police said after Uthra fell asleep, Sooraj allegedly took out the snake from the bottle and threw it on her. He kept awake all night to ensure that it did not bite him. He left the room in the morning and started reading a newspaper in the verandah. Uthra’s mother found her daughter unconscious in the morning. She was rushed to a hospital where doctors said she died of a snake bite. The case is on trial stage and police recreated the entire incident through digital and dummy presentation.

The cracking of theft in India’s first indigenous built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant two years ago also found mention in the report. The accused, two painters working in the ship, were netted after matching their fingerprints taken at the time of employing them. The National Investigation Agency arrested them last year from north India.

First three in 2019:

Andhra Pradesh: 512

Kerala: 402

Karnataka: 399

First three in 2020:

Kerala: 675

Karnataka: 517

Andhra Pradesh: 412

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Monday, October 18, 2021