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Haryana Police identify body abroad by matching relative’s DNA

Chandigarh, Feb 18 (IANS) In a first-of-its-kind case, Haryana Police by establishing enhanced coordination with CBI and Interpol officials has identified a body abroad by matching DNA of a blood relative with that of the body.

A police spokesperson said in the case related to Kurukshetra district the police did not resort to lengthy procedures like MLAT (mutual legal assistance treaty) or LR (letter rogatory) in the DNA investigation.

This is the first time that such a case of DNA matching has been done using Interpol’s standardised digital format.

Initially, Haryana Police had sent a physical sample of DNA which could not be sent through Interpol channels. Later, the digital format DNA profile was collected by the police in Interpol standardised format and the police received the digital profile of DNA from CFSL in Chandigarh and transmitted to Croatia through Interpol’s 24×7 channels on the same day.

A complaint in this regard was received from Paramjeet Kaur, a resident of Kurukshetra district, in which she said her son Parminder wanted to go to Italy. After completing required formalities, she came to know that his son has reached Serbia and later he will be sent to Italy by air. She also learned from sources that an unidentified body had been found in Croatia, which she suspected to be that of her son Parminder Singh.

The complainant expressed apprehension that accused Gaurav Gupta and others may have killed his son out of greed for money. Based on the complaint, a formal case was registered in Pehowa town on April 13, 2022.

Subsequently, a case was filed in the high court by relatives of deceased Parminder for identification of his body in Croatia.

In compliance of the high court order of November 21, 2022, DNA sample of Paramjit Kaur (mother of Parminder Singh) was collected by Kurukshetra Police and sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) for DNA profiling.

After completing all formalities, along with the submission of DNA profile of Paramjit Kaur, a communication was made with the Union Home Ministry.

CBI-IPCU (Central Bureau of Investigation-International Police Cooperation Unit) had filed a status report in the high court detailing the communication made with NCB-Zagreb (Croatia) and the steps being taken to identify the subject.

The CBI had shared digital DNA format of Interpol with Haryana Police and obtained a digital DNA format of the blood relative i.e. Patamjeet Kaur. The same was emailed to NCB Zagreb (Croatia). DNA sequence was mailed by NCB-New Delhi to NCB Zagreb (Croatia). It was matched by Croatian authorities and positive identification was given on February 13.

It was informed to Haryana Police and also to the family members of the victim. NCB-Zagreb (Croatia) informed of positive identification of the suspected unidentified body to be of Parminder Singh based on digital DNA profiling.

The relatives of the deceased have been informed about these developments. Though the body has already been buried by the Croatian government, the family members will now proceed to claim the last mortal remains from Croatia with the assistance of the government of India.