IN A BID to ensure that detection rates for cases do not take a beating, the Mumbai Police have written to the state Home Department recommending that the state-run Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Kalina be provided with sufficient amount of chemicals required to conduct DNA tests. Sources revealed that the letter was sent from the South region of the city police.

The move to send the recommendation letter comes after officers probing the murders of three girls from the Cuffe Parade area — between November 2011 and April this year — approached their superiors and told them that investigations were being hampered as DNA results of suspects were taking too long.

Investigators revealed that the police have sent 961 samples of suspects to the FSL in the Cuffe Parade murders alone, but have got the results for only 250. The police found two separate foreign DNA samples on two of the three victims.

“Numerous reminders to expedite results of suspects in the murders have proved futile. We are always told that chemicals used to identify DNA is in shortage. With that in mind, we have sent a letter to the Home Department recommending that more chemicals be provided to the FSL,” said a senior police officer, requesting anonymity.

The officer said while the FSL has the requisite machines to ensure DNA test results are out fast, not having sufficient chemicals was proving to be a dampener.

“Each time, FSL authorities tell us there is a chemical shortage there. Having machines but not having enough chemicals is not an ideal situation. We are hoping the authorities concerned will look into the issue,” said the officer.

The officer said in the letter, the police also urged authorities to ensure that manpower shortage at the lab is looked into.

“That the FSL is short-staffed is no secret. If there are more employees, we will not be made to wait for a long time. We have asked the higher authorities to look into this. At the end of the day, our job is to ensure that we nab those who commit offences. Apart from age-old policing techniques, science should also back us up and that is why we have sent the letter,” said the officer.

The officer said the police would write to the FSL authorities again, asking them to expedite the DNA tests for the murders. “We have been informed that even the FSL has sent a proposal to the Home Department requesting more materials,” the officer added.

Joshua Patnigere, Indian Express

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