Challenging and Rare DNA Evidences Convicts the Accused in a High Profile Murder Case

Research Article

Austin J Forensic Sci Criminol. 2016; 3(1): 1046.

Challenging and Rare DNA Evidences Convicts the Accused in a High Profile Murder Case

Ajay Kumar Rana*, Nishant Kumar, Jahangir Imam, Mukund Kumar Sinha, Hridesh Kumar Sinha and Ramashankar Singh

Division of Biology, State Forensic Science Laboratory Jharkhand, India

*Corresponding author: Ajay Kumar Rana, State Forensic Science Laboratory, Ministry of Home Affairs, Near Birsa Munda Jail, Hotwar, Ranchi, Jharkhand - 835217, India, E-mail: [email protected]

Received: April 23, 2016; Accepted: May 28, 2016; Published: May 30, 2016


Identifying the obscured exhibits is both a challenging and a commendable task in forensic science. Here we report on solving the case of a doctor’s murder (victim) carried out for demand of gross ransom by five perpetrators. The crime scene happened in the Gumla District which lies in the Red Corridor of Jharkhand State (Eastern India). The incident took place at two spots (atrocities for demand at a house and final murder in a forest) leaving behind some challenging evidences such as few scalp hairs on the bed, cigarette stubs, chewed tobacco and few blood drops scattered in a forest soil. These rare evidences were collected by the forensic team of Jharkhand and proceeded for DNA extraction and forensic analysis. The DNA obtained from these evidences matched with the DNA profile of the three suspects out of five under police detention. This is rare and first case reported in Jharkhand where chewed tobacco and few fallen hairs on bed sheet have been used to solve a critical crime case. Gumla police and the state forensic team were honoured with first prize in whole Jharkhand for solving this case scientifically.

Keywords: Rare evidences; Forensic genetics; Jharkhand; India


Forensic science often involves the study of challenging samples (legally known as exhibits) collected from the crime sites where indiscernible tissues or samples are carved out whose identity determination remains a big challenge in the current scenario. At the site of crime scene, the body fluids of human such as blood, semen, visceral fluid, vaginal fluid, saliva, and menstrual fluid [1] are washed out of its natural texture and are discoloured often due to meagre in quantity or drying/bleaching out in long exposure. Such exhibits present a huge challenge in front of DNA forensic scientists to determine the actual cause/severity of the crime from trace amount of samples collected. Here we report a high profile murder case of a Doctor from the naxalite-hit area of Jharkhand, India where rare forensic samples (chewed tobacco and fallen hairs on bed) along with other significant exhibits were collected from the crime scenes.

Crime and crime scene investigation

The incident occurred in Gumla district, which lies in the southeast part of Jharkhand State in eastern India, an area which falls in the Red Corridor region and fully prone to frequent Naxalite-Moaist insurgency. A government resident, Dr. ABC (identity has been concealed) was abducted from his clinic on 30.04.2015. While the nurse couldn’t see the Doctor returning to his clinic till evening, she filed an FIR (First Information Report) to the nearest police station. The abductors had demanded a lump sum ransom of about Rs 50 lakhs from his wife through phone, although the complete information was not conveyed to the police due to fear. On the 6th day of his kidnap on 05.05.2015, the Doctor’s body was found dead near to Chandaal Dam in Raidih forest of the Gumla district about 10 km away from Kashitoli village where they had initially kept him for ransom demands. The incident resulted in widespread protests in Jharkhand from the Doctors community as well as the civilians (External links – 1 ,2, 3, 4,). With the help of a telephone number (mobile number) which was used to call the wife of the Doctor by the perpetrators, the Gumla police traced and held five persons under their custody imposing the Indian Penal Code under sections: 364(A)/302/201/120(B)/34. The Director of the Forensic Laboratory was immediately informed by the Superintendent of Police, Gumla district and a team of four Scientific Assistants with an Assistant Director was constituted and deputed for investigation and collection of samples that could help nab the perpetrators. On reaching at the protected site of crime in Kashitoli village ushered by the police, a locked house (Figure 1) by Gumla police having two rooms (1 and 4) and two verandas (2 and 3) was the first site to be investigated. The police helped to unlock the door with the key with them and the forensic team headed for investigation and collection of samples. Photography of each room and each possible forensic sample was properly collected to recreate the crime scene. No forensic samples could be recovered from the first veranda where a broken couch was lying with some bed sheets and blankets which were wrapped round each other. Then after entering into the first room and after a long search with the help of halogen torch, two hairs about 3 cm and 5 cm length were picked with the help of sterile forceps from the bed lying over there, sealed in an envelope and labelled. Surprisingly some chewed tobacco (dried) was found glued in north of the wall that was collected by sterile forceps, wrapped in a paper, sealed in a paper envelope and labelled. Then the team entered into the second veranda where there was an iron made chair and there were 7 cigarette stubs lying on the ground, each of which were picked up and kept in separate envelopes. As later on revealed from one of the perpetrators, the chair was used to tie down the Doctor in the day time. The second room was facing south of the second veranda (Figure 1) and was previously closed with a big lock by the perpetrators. The lock was broken with the help of a hammer and a big rod of iron. The second room had too some hair falls on the bed sheet of a bed, lying in the east of the room that were collected with the help of sterile forceps and sealed in a separate envelopes and labelled. After having the comprehensive search-through of the site, the forensic team headed towards the Raidih forest, the second site of crime scene where the dead body of the Doctor was recovered and already sent to post mortem in the very morning. It was about 7:30 PM in the evening, the blood scattered in the forest soil near Chandaal Dam was confirmed by the Kastle-Meyer test [2,3] as well as Luminol chemiluminescence [4]. The blood positive soil as well as nearby soil with negative blood test for reference were also collected for comparative physical analysis. All the samples collected were sealed with molten lac-gum as well as with signature on the envelope closure and handed over to the investigating officer of police Mr. XYZ and was asked to channel these exhibits with full custody to the forensic laboratory along with blood samples of suspects under police detention in dry state on gauze pieces.