Four families receive closure after an exercise for identification of dead bodies of missing person was led by IPS officer Balakriashnan Velaiah, DIG of Police, Railways, Chennai.
Tears rolled down their cheeks as they remained transfixed at the white screen- images of unidentified dead bodies from 5 districts in Tiruchy range were being screened for friends and relatives of missing persons in the presence of investigation officers and senior police officers.
The people were checking whether any of the identities from the images are matching with their loved ones, whose whereabouts have not been traced for the last ten years in some cases. This massive exercise was undertaken by Balakrishnan Velaiah, DIG of Tiruchy, along with his team in three places with 1,000 people. The relatives of 450 missing persons in 5 districts in Tiruchy range and Tiruchy city, reported in last 10 years, were to identify from the images of 900 unidentified dead bodies from the police database to see if there were any matches.
“Though we could trace only 4 people it was worth doing’, says the DIG. “My officers did a wonderful job in organising, bringing the people to 3 centres, empathising with them and being with them as it involves a lot of emotions”.
The identification marks like the dress found in the body, scars, tattoos and the materials recovered from the body were shown to the kith and kin on a mega screen as they waited with a sense of anxiety, and anticipation of the unknown not knowing whether they would come across any matching images on the screen. The images were projected from the year 2008 onwards, and the oldest missing person case was reported as early as 2006.
“Though there is a presumption in the civil law to consider a person dead if he or she is not seen for the last seven years continuously, many do not want to believe that the missing ones are dead. Though 650 family members scanned through 950 photos from the database of five districts (Tiruchy, Karur, Pudukottai, Ariyalur and Perambalur), Tiruchy city and Tiruchy railway district, we could trace only 4 matching records and it was worth doing because people at least now know that their lost ones may be living somewhere or the probability of seeing them alive is bright", says Balakrishnan.
“It was the most touching scene to me the way the police empathised with the people — in some cases I could see them, hugging the relatives of the missing persons when they cried looking at the images of closely matching cases.”
In the matching cases, the final call is taken after confirmation through a DNA analysis or superimposition technique for the skull.
“But for the time being they can heave sigh of relief from the mental agony they were undergoing not knowing the fate of the loved ones”, he says. Now, CCTNS has established a citizen portal for the public to check the above details online by themselves....