Not all investigations are open-and-shut cases. There have been many instances where the police as well as various investigating agencies were overwhelmed by the technical complexity of the incident or other unforeseen circumstances.
It is in such cases that the science of forensics comes into its own, driving the investigation on pure technology and research-based analysis. The Directorate of Forensic Sciences (DFS), Gujarat, is a stellar example of such techniques.
In recent years, DFS has stepped in to assist with investigation in various capacities from managing crime scenes and analysing the minutest of clues to nailing culprits in whodunit cases as well as psycho-analysing and interrogating some of the most hostile of criminals, including terrorists.
With a spate of unique, advanced technologies to boast of, the directorate has become a prime forensic consultant not just for the state, but also agencies and police forces across the country.
Some of these latest technologies employed by them include the Suspect Detection System (SDS), Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature (BEOS) profiling, Layered Voice Analysis (LVA), computerised firing range among many others, divided among its 14 departments.
The following are three boxes and each can be accompanied by one of the illustrations mailed earlier)
Mumbai journo’s gang rape
The most recent investigation that DFS has assisted with is the gang rape of the 23-year-old photo-journalist in Mumbai. The incident occurred on August 22, and four days later, the Mumbai Police commissioner requested for the assistance of DFS Gujarat.
A three-member team was sent the following day to help the police ascertain the exact spot of the incident using its crime scene foraging technique as well as to carry out a psycho-analysis of the five suspects to formulate their psychological profiles.
Bodh Gaya blasts
10 timed explosions had rocked the ancient Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, in July. The incident had left two priests injured, while three other unexploded bombs were recovered. The DFS carried out an analysis of a robe believed to have been left behind by one of the terrorists. A detailed DNA test was done to match the one found on the clothing with that of known suspects.
Interrogation of Tunda
A team of two forensic psychologists had been sent to Delhi to assist with the interrogation of 70-year-old Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) ideologue, Saiyed Abdul Karim alias Tunda. The DFS experts were roped in to conduct a psychological analysis of the terrorist and ascertain the authenticity of the statements he gave.
In such cases, experts use personality and psychological tests
to judge the profile of the person in question. They
also have BEOS profiling as well as computerised polygraph tests to help them distinguish fact from fiction literally.