The State government may get by next week, the final report on the DNA matching of the unidentified bodies of the victims of the Jnaneswari Express which derailed in West Bengal's Paschim Medinipur district on May 28, killing 150 persons.
This indication was given by the State Home Secretary Samar Ghosh at the secretariat on Saturday. Director of the Forensic Department D.P. Sengupta also met Mr. Ghosh during the day.
The State is facing a piquant situation where it cannot hand over the bodies to the claimants for want of proper DNA matching as t they are so badly deformed that physical identification is virtually impossible. The fact that in some cases only body parts could be recovered has added another dimension to the problem.
The bodies and body parts are lying in the State mortuaries and identification has become difficult as they have become contaminated, officials at the Central Forensic Science Laboratory said. Hence tests are being carried out thrice. There are 47 such bodies and body parts. Moreover DNA matching can be done only with parents, siblings and children.
While the government has decided to take legal opinion on whether it can cremate the bodies in case of an inconclusive third report, there are the aspects of claims to property, jobs, insurance, employee benefits and succession that are also addressed through identification, which in this case has become a major issue. Sabotage by the ultra-left is being suspected and the case is now being investigated by the CBI.