Armed forces to DNA profile soldiers to help in better identification

New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) DNA profiles of aarmed forces personnel would be stored in a data bank to help in identification during operations or any other contingency from any fragment of body tissue, the Lok Sabha was informed Monday.

Defence Minister A. K. Antony told the house that the Armed Forces Medical Research Committee (AFMRC) has approved a pilot project (2012-2014) titled “Development of Protocol for DNA Profiling (Identification) and Repository of Personnel of Armed Forces”.

“This pilot project is in progress at Armed Forces Medical College, Pune. The objectives of the project are to devise a protocol for collection, preservation and transportation of blood samples of the soldiers, maintain absolute accuracy in personal information and tagging of specimen and to devise protocol for procedure for identifying service personnel from any fragment of body tissue,” Antony said.

He said the army has a well established procedure for identification of a soldier in the forward or battle zones.

“A solder is either part of a sub unit (section, platoon) deployed on the border and everyone recognizes him due to his physical attributes, or he moves out with a companion,” Antony said.

He said a soldier is never alone in forward areas.

“In addition every personnel has two metallic discs, one tied to his neck and other on the wrist. These discs have his Army Number engraved for identification,” Antony added.

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