Farooq orders an inquiry into DNA fudging
8 March 2002
The Indian Express
JAMMU/SRINAGAR: Stung by reports that it had fudged the DNA tests of five suspected militants killed in an encounter at Panchalthan in March 2000, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah today announced a judicial probe into the episode. All officers associated with collection of the samples are being suspended, and they will be dismissed if proven guilty, he added. Making a suo motu statement during zero hour in the Assembly, Farooq said that Justice G.A. Kuchey would hold an inquiry into the matter and submit his report within two months. ‘‘We will convene a special session of the house and place that probe report before the members,’’ he said. ‘‘I had personally gone to Anantnag to supervise the investigations. We collected the DNA samples and sent them to Hyderabad and Kolkata,’’ he said. ‘‘Now we are again collecting the DNA samples afresh under the supervision of the IGP, Jammu and Medical Superintendent of Sher- i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences.’’ The State government is understood to have deputed a team that would take fresh DNA samples from the relatives of the five persons killed in an alleged fake encounter in Panchalthan on March 27, 2000. ‘‘The government has asked Government Medical College to depute a team of forensic experts to extract fresh samples which will be subsequently despatched to a Kolkata laboratory,’’ official sources said. Dr Rouf Ahmad, principal GMC Srinagar, when contacted, said the process has started. Asked how much more time the department would take to obtain fresh samples, he said, ‘‘It will take a day or two’’. He refused to name the person who would head the team. But when asked if Dr Balbeer Kour aka Dr Bilkees, head of Forensic Medicines at GMC, would head the team as rumoured, his answer was ‘‘probably yes’’. The previous samples were extracted under Kaur’s supervision.