CDFD asks relatives to send blood samples to Uttarakhand government. He said the relatives need to write to Director, Forensic Science Laboratory, Dehradun, who would send them FTA cards.

The relatives of around 5,000 people, who were reported missing and feared dead in the floods and landslides in Uttarakhand in June 2013, have been asked to send their blood samples to undertake DNA testing for identification of bodies.

The Hyderabad-based Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) has already undertaken DNA profiling of mortal remains of around 550 victims that were sent by the Uttarakhand government and completed the profiling in 400 cases, CDFD Director, J. Gowrishankar told reporters here on Monday.

He said the Uttarakhand Government also sent to CDFD blood samples of around 200 claimant relatives of the individuals reported missing since identification by DNA testing requires matching of DNA profiles of the victims with their relatives. In the preliminary analysis of results so far obtained, about 20 victims have been identified by DNA testing and CDFD would be shortly sending an identification report to the Uttarakhand government.

Dr. Gowrishankar said the Uttarakhand Government and CDFD now seek the cooperation of all relatives (preferably a parent or child) of the missing individuals to send their blood samples for DNA testing.

He said the relatives need to write to Director, Forensic Science Laboratory, Dehradun, who would send them FTA cards.

After receiving the card, the relative could then put a drop of blood on it and send it in an envelope to FSL, Uttarakhand, who in turn would send it to CDFD. The card contains preservatives which enable the sample to be stable for at least five years. He said the identification process would be completed within two months upon the receipt of the samples.

Dr. Gowrishankar said an advertisement would also be issued in this regard shortly.

He said CDFD would be acquiring CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) from US Government’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) next month and the software would be used for the first time in the country for DNA profiling and testing from August. He said CODIS was being given free of cost by the FBI to various countries and the software has the capacity to undertake DNA profiling of one million samples.

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