Crime investigation in Nagaland, despite a rising insistence on adopting state of the art technology, largely remains basic. With little or no resources to draw from, the Nagaland Police are mainly confine to the traditional practice of ‘interrogation’; also applying the personnel’s resourcefulness to frame charges that can be admit in court. The lacks are many and glaringly so when it comes to forensics an area that has often had the state police on the back foot.
With this in context, forensic science as an aid to investigating crime form the basis of a seminar conduct for ‘Investigation Officers’ of the Dimapur police at the Office of the Commissioner of Police on July 29. The workshop was organise in collaboration with the Nagaland Forensic Science Association (NFSA) a body form by a group of young Forensic Science graduates in 2018.
Evidence for forensic analysis
The topics cover broadly Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) and collecting evidence for forensic analysis. Fingerprints, photography, DNA analysis, verification of “question documents,” including hand writing and signature comparison; besides identifying the security features of currency notes and passports were the sub-topics cover. NFSA members Vetolü P Tunyi, Vicheno Kera, Lanujungla Imsong, Kimeri Ngullie and Puleno Kennao were the resource persons.
“Advance laboratory technology cannot use if the evidence; which is lost or contaminate because of improper or poor collection,” Kennao during her presentation on CSI. Kennao, who holds a Ph.D in Crime Scene Management further commented, “They may think it’s hardly of any use since we do not have the require tools yet we can take a step forward.” As far as forensic infrastructure is concerned, Nagaland has a Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Dimapur.
Established in 1982, the FSL currently has 4 departments Narcotics, Photography, Polygraph and Fingerprints; which are said to be functional. But when it comes to DNA analysis and ballistics, investigations hit a roadblock. “They cannot comment on the existing equipments and expertise at the FSL. They can though tell that all ‘biological specimens’; (requiring laboratory examination) are send outside. Even for verifying documents relating to forgery, it has to be sent outside the state,” confided a police official today.
Efficiency of crime investigation
The state’s FSL however has the capability to examine fingerprints; so besides maintaining a database, and narcotics. With the investigations and “convictions here; so mostly base on verbal confessions,” he say’s that having a well equip; and also well staff forensic laboratory “at our doorstep” greatly aid the police. “They have today a growing pool of Forensic Science graduates; hence whose expertise can be utilize,” he add.
Interacting with the media following the seminar, Lanujungla Imsong inform; so that north-east states like Mizoram, Manipur and Meghlaya have fully functional laboratories specializing in the various branches of Forensic Science. She has a Masters degree in Forensic Science with further specialization in biology, serology and DNA Fingerprinting and has work at the Directorate of Forensic Science, Mumbai. She said that in addition to existing FSL in Dimapur, having forensic experts in every district would boost the efficiency of crime investigation.
Puleno Kennao emphasize on the need for wholehearted government investment to turn and sustain the lone FSL into a high-tech and reliable asset. “They have the human expertise today. We want to serve our own state too,” she said. In September 2018, Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton during the inauguration of the new building for the FSL at Kacharigaon declare that 5 new departments – polygraph, cyber forensic, question documents, ballistics and serology & biology will be add.