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Mobile Forensic Units disappear into thin air

By Sanjoy Ray
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GUWAHATI, July 14 - Often regarded as a dream tool for crime investigation, the Mobile Forensic Units (also known as District Mobile Units), attached with the Assam Police, have virtually disappeared into the thin air.

Despite spending a huge amount of fund for the District Mobile Units (DMUs), the home department and the State Forensic Science Laboratory (SFSL) have no clue about their �functioning�, a development that has baffled the expert committee formed by the Gauhati High Court to recommend measures for their overhaul.

The expert committee, miffed at the inexplicable state of affairs, has suggested for a special audit into the entire process.

The District Mobile Units (DMUs) were purchased for 23 districts, including Guwahati, in two phases since 2007.

Each DMU, equipped with footprint investigation kit, narcotics kit, blood evidence kit and dust mark lifting kit, were purchased as part of the modernisation scheme. Further, the mobile units were also fitted with sophisticated camera and chemicals used for preliminary investigation, which could prove handy in identifying the crime exhibits.

The sophisticated vehicles that were supposed to function under the respective district police were purchased to enhance the process of collecting and analysing the crime scenes in the quickest possible time.

�The idea was to help identify the clue materials from the scene of crime before they disappear due to other

interferences. However, the expert committee report suggest that the DMUs have almost disappeared into the thin air,� official sources privy to the report submitted to the Gauhati High Court told The Assam Tribune.

�The faster the forensic team visits the crime scene, the better are the chances of gathering clinching evidences from the scene. However, most of the DMUs, it seems, never saw the light of the day, at least the report suggests so,� sources said.

Sources informed that the reasons behind the sorry state of affairs were that the DMUs were never attached with a dedicated team and it was difficult to make the units operate without any expert. �It was equally surprising that the home department and the SFSL never followed it up,� sources pointed out.

The Gauhati High Court, which had taken a suo motu public interest litigation (PIL) on the apathetic condition of the State Forensic Science Laboratory, on March 26 this year directed the State government to implement the suggestions made by the committee, including filling up of all the vacancies within six months.

The expert committee, comprising Dr Dhirendra Nath Saikia, Dr Padmapani Mahanta and Mindendra Nath Bora, had reportedly suggested a special audit vis-�-vis the procurement and functioning of the DMUs.

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Mobile Forensic Units disappear into thin air

GUWAHATI, July 14 - Often regarded as a dream tool for crime investigation, the Mobile Forensic Units (also known as District Mobile Units), attached with the Assam Police, have virtually disappeared into the thin air.

Despite spending a huge amount of fund for the District Mobile Units (DMUs), the home department and the State Forensic Science Laboratory (SFSL) have no clue about their �functioning�, a development that has baffled the expert committee formed by the Gauhati High Court to recommend measures for their overhaul.

The expert committee, miffed at the inexplicable state of affairs, has suggested for a special audit into the entire process.

The District Mobile Units (DMUs) were purchased for 23 districts, including Guwahati, in two phases since 2007.

Each DMU, equipped with footprint investigation kit, narcotics kit, blood evidence kit and dust mark lifting kit, were purchased as part of the modernisation scheme. Further, the mobile units were also fitted with sophisticated camera and chemicals used for preliminary investigation, which could prove handy in identifying the crime exhibits.

The sophisticated vehicles that were supposed to function under the respective district police were purchased to enhance the process of collecting and analysing the crime scenes in the quickest possible time.

�The idea was to help identify the clue materials from the scene of crime before they disappear due to other

interferences. However, the expert committee report suggest that the DMUs have almost disappeared into the thin air,� official sources privy to the report submitted to the Gauhati High Court told The Assam Tribune.

�The faster the forensic team visits the crime scene, the better are the chances of gathering clinching evidences from the scene. However, most of the DMUs, it seems, never saw the light of the day, at least the report suggests so,� sources said.

Sources informed that the reasons behind the sorry state of affairs were that the DMUs were never attached with a dedicated team and it was difficult to make the units operate without any expert. �It was equally surprising that the home department and the SFSL never followed it up,� sources pointed out.

The Gauhati High Court, which had taken a suo motu public interest litigation (PIL) on the apathetic condition of the State Forensic Science Laboratory, on March 26 this year directed the State government to implement the suggestions made by the committee, including filling up of all the vacancies within six months.

The expert committee, comprising Dr Dhirendra Nath Saikia, Dr Padmapani Mahanta and Mindendra Nath Bora, had reportedly suggested a special audit vis-�-vis the procurement and functioning of the DMUs.

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