Today in New Delhi, India
Dec 10, 2018-Monday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

Gujarat mass graves: CBI collecting DNA samples

The samples are being collected for possible identification of the victims of the communal violence in March 2002.

india Updated: Jan 05, 2006 01:28 IST

A 12-member Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team from Mumbai arrived in Gujarat's Lunawada town on Wednesday to take samples of skeletal remains found in a mass grave.

The samples are being collected for possible identification of victims of communal violence.

According to Panchmahals district collector DH Brahmabhatt, the team has reached the spot.

Last month, eight skulls and several bones were exhumed from the bank of the Panam river near Lunawada, about 150 km from Ahmedabad.

The remains are believed to be of victims of a massacre carried out on March 1, 2002 in Pandarwada village near Lunawada.

"We are extending full support to the CBI team. An executive magistrate is present on the spot with the CBI team that is expected to take the sample of the remains on Wednesday," Brahmabhatt said.

The remains were exhumed by relatives of those missing since the communal violence of 2002. Following a petition from a mother of a victim and a social activist, the Gujarat High Court last week ordered the CBI to conduct DNA tests.

The local police, however, filed a complaint against the relatives for exhuming bodies from what they claimed to be a notified graveyard.

"Following the police complaint, the CBI team is facing some difficulty in seeking cooperation from a section of the relatives. Only those who are named in the complaint are resisting, while others are cooperative," said Brahmbhatt.

A team of experts from the New Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) would assist the CBI in taking blood samples, police sources said.

Meanwhile, district authorities have issued a notification prohibiting people to exhume bodies from the mass grave without permission from the district collector.

First Published: Jan 04, 2006 17:52 IST