CFSL’s flip-flop raises more questions about Gumnami Baba
The Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL)-Kolkata has changed its stance on having the electropherogram of the DNA analysis that CFSL conducted on the ‘supposed’ teeth of Gumnami Baba alias Bhagwanji, whom many believed was Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
After earlier informing an RTI activist that the electropherogram report of the case was not available, CFSL Kolkata has admitted the electropherogram report has been found.
In a letter dated February 24, 2020 and sent to RTI activist Sayak Sen, who had sought the information, BP Mishra, CPIO of CFSL-Kolkata said, “In continuation of your online RTI application vide Registration No DIRFS/R/E/20/00002 dated 05.01.20 and our earlier reply letter number CFSL(K)/19-20/20/II/RTI-55/SS/475 dated 04.02.2020, the required information is furnished below: 1. Some additional records related to the RTI application have been found which contain the Electropherogram as sought in this RTI query.”
CFSL further said electropherogram cannot be shared with the RTI applicant as the information being sought was related to third party. “This information pertains to the third party, hence it cannot be provided,” he said.
On February 4, 2020, CFSL’s reply to Sayak Sen was, “The electropherogram report of this case is not available at CFSL Kolkata.” The CFSL’s flip-flop has raised questions and brings into focus the DNA report, thereby further deepening the mystery over the identity of Gumnami Baba alias Bhagwanji who lived in Ram Bhawan in Civil Lines area of Faizabad (now Ayodhya) before his death on September 16, 1985.
“CFSL has changed its stance obviously after the issue has been highlighted in the national media,” said Sayak Sen.
Earlier, the Justice Vishnu Sahai commission, which was set up to ascertain the identity of Gumnami Baba alias Bhagwanji, in its report submitted to the state government on September 19, 2017 concluded that Gumnami Baba alias Subhas Chandra Bose was not Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
The Sahai commission, in its report, quoted the observations of Justice Mukerjee Commission that had sent five of the nine teeth recovered from Ram Bhawan to CFSL Kolkata for a DNA analysis. The Justice Sahai commission’s report was tabled in the state assembly in December last year.
The then CFSL director and DNA expert Dr VK Kashyap, on the basis of the examination conducted on three of the five teeth in 2004, had submitted a detailed report, concluding that the teeth belonged to an old man (Gumnami Baba) and did not match the DNA samples of the family of the mother and father of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and thus he (Gumnami Baba) cannot be Netaji. “The DNA evidence demolishes the claims of those who strongly say he (Gumnami Baba) was Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose,” the commission observed.
Noted DNA expert Professor Gyaneshwar Chobey of Banaras Hindu University, who has studied CFSL’s report, said he was disappointed to see the analysis. He said, “There are many problems with the analysis as the software used to analyse samples (bioedit) is not meant for electropherogram analysis. Only four of 20 markers could not be used to infer anything about parental lineage.” He further observed, “Height cannot be measured by dental morphology. Moreover 40-100 mg of pulp from a tooth is practically impossible.”
The author duo of Chandrachud Ghose and Anuj Dhar have also alleged the DNA report was fudged. Both have for long claimed that Gumnami Baba was Netaji and demanded a fresh scientific investigation on the issue.
On June 28, 2016, the state government asked Justice Vishnu Sahai commission to ascertain the identity of Gumnami Baba