In an effort to expedite crime investigations, Kerala’s first district forensic science laboratory has started functioning in Kollam.
At present the State has regional laboratories in Kannur, Thrissur and Ernakulam apart from the main facility at the Police Headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram. The ₹50-lakh lab in Kollam was opened as part of the government decision to set up forensic labs in all 14 revenue districts. The objective of opening the labs is to ensure a more efficient investigation process along with an effective trial using scientific methods.
In the initial phase, there will be three divisions, including Physics, Biology and Chemistry, while a cyber forensic division will be started in the lab shortly. The lab in Thiruvananthapuram has 11 divisions that also includes Ballistics, Serology, DNA, Documents, Documents-Civil, Explosives and Polygraph. Till now the district was dependent on Thiruvananthapuram for forensic expertise and very often the department had to wait for weeks for the results. As the district lab becomes functional, results will be available in days, expediting the whole process of investigation.
“Scientific evidence collection is crucial in crime investigation and forensic experts who examine scenes of crime play a key role in that,” said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who inaugurated the lab through videoconferencing.
Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma presided. She said the government had been taking steps to upgrade the infrastructure of the department in a bid to modernise the system. “It is a matter of pride that we could complete the lab in Kollam, the first in the State, in a time-bound manner,” she said.
G.S. Jayalal, MLA, State Police Chief Loknath Behera and District Police Chief T. Narayanan also attended the event.