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�Smoking guns� piling up in Forensic Science Lab

By Sanjoy Ray
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GUWAHATI, June 24 - Hundreds of sophisticated weapons, which were once considered as �smoking guns� by investigating agencies while dealing with high-profile cases of insurgent attacks in the State, are lying unclaimed.

Ironically, these firearms sent for forensic examination were never taken back from the ballistic division of the State Forensic Science Laboratory here, thanks to the Assam Police�s �forgetful and casual� approach.

The number of such weapons is increasing fast, forcing the Forensic Science Laboratory to draw the attention of the Assam Police headquarters. The ballistic division has asked for immediate intervention of the police department in this regard.

�There does not seem to be any takers for these forensic exhibits, which once proved to be clinching evidence in some of the high-profile crimes that had rocked the State in the last couple of decades or so,� sources told this reporter.

The sophisticated weapons include those used by militants of the ULFA and NDFB, besides those used in some high-profile cases registered under the Arms Act. Sources informed The Assam Tribune that nearly 12 boxes of firearms have been gathering dust for years in the Forensic Science Laboratory, post their forensic examination and subsequent submission of findings reports.

�Police brings them (weapons) to the lab for forensic examination but once the report is prepared and dispatched, they seldom come to take the weapons back,� sources said.

�They (the police) remain in touch till the reports are not handed over. Some of the weapons date back to more than a decade and the authorities of the laboratory are not sure as to what to do with those weapons,� sources added.

�There was a proposal for using these weapons for research and exhibition of the weaponry but that too has legal implications,� sources confided, adding, �We have lost count of such weapons as they keep on coming to our lab.� Experts believe that the Assam Police must initiate a time-bound approach to transfer these weapons to a repository.

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�Smoking guns� piling up in Forensic Science Lab

GUWAHATI, June 24 - Hundreds of sophisticated weapons, which were once considered as �smoking guns� by investigating agencies while dealing with high-profile cases of insurgent attacks in the State, are lying unclaimed.

Ironically, these firearms sent for forensic examination were never taken back from the ballistic division of the State Forensic Science Laboratory here, thanks to the Assam Police�s �forgetful and casual� approach.

The number of such weapons is increasing fast, forcing the Forensic Science Laboratory to draw the attention of the Assam Police headquarters. The ballistic division has asked for immediate intervention of the police department in this regard.

�There does not seem to be any takers for these forensic exhibits, which once proved to be clinching evidence in some of the high-profile crimes that had rocked the State in the last couple of decades or so,� sources told this reporter.

The sophisticated weapons include those used by militants of the ULFA and NDFB, besides those used in some high-profile cases registered under the Arms Act. Sources informed The Assam Tribune that nearly 12 boxes of firearms have been gathering dust for years in the Forensic Science Laboratory, post their forensic examination and subsequent submission of findings reports.

�Police brings them (weapons) to the lab for forensic examination but once the report is prepared and dispatched, they seldom come to take the weapons back,� sources said.

�They (the police) remain in touch till the reports are not handed over. Some of the weapons date back to more than a decade and the authorities of the laboratory are not sure as to what to do with those weapons,� sources added.

�There was a proposal for using these weapons for research and exhibition of the weaponry but that too has legal implications,� sources confided, adding, �We have lost count of such weapons as they keep on coming to our lab.� Experts believe that the Assam Police must initiate a time-bound approach to transfer these weapons to a repository.