Long wait for closure for family of Border Roads Organisation engineer

Missing engineer Subhan Ali.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The wait for the family of Subhan Ali, a 27-year-old civil engineer posted with the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) who went missing after an accident on the Zozila-Kargil-Leh road last June, just got longer.

Son of a tailor from Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh, the Indian Engineering Service (IES) officer had been posted in Ladakh as part of the General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF) of the BRO when his vehicle fell off the road and plunged into the Drass river that flows into Pakistan.

Though the Pakistani side had recovered an unidentified body on Shingo river close to the Line of Control (LoC) on 27 June, the process of matching the DNA with Mr. Ali’s parents is far from over.

Lok Sabha member and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Kunwar Danish Ali had taken up the case with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in July last year.

Now, eight months later, Mr. Singh informed his Lok Sabha colleague that the DNA matching process would need more time as “the sample is in a queue”.

“It is learnt that DNA matching analysis at FSL [Forensic Science Laboratory], Chandigarh, is in queue and it may take 3-6 months before the report is received. Further action will be taken on receipt of report from FSL, Chandigarh,” Mr. Singh said in his letter dated February 11.

On June 22 last year, Mr. Ali, along with his driver, Palwinder Singh, went missing after their vehicle fell into the Drass and got swept away by the fast flowing river.

While the Gypsy and the driver’s body were recovered from the river, the engineer’s body remained untraceable.

Five days later, Pakistani authorities reported the finding of an unidentified body from Shingo river close to the LoC on 27 June. Following up the lead, the Army Headquarters coordinated with Pakistani authorities to collect the DNA samples of the unidentified body.

The DNA samples of the unidentified body were received by Kargil police at Tangdhar on August 22, 2020. Two months later, the DNA samples of his parents were also collected on October 28, 2020 and was forwarded to the FSL, Chandigarh.

“But since then, it has been a long wait for the family. They have been waiting for a sense of closure to this tragic chapter. Even now, they may have to wait for another six months. I would request the government to speed up the process of DNA sample matching and provide them some relief,” the BSP MP told The Hindu on Sunday.

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Printable version | May 19, 2021 5:24:31 AM |

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