AMEI's Current Trends in Diagnosis & Treatment

Register      Login

VOLUME 3 , ISSUE 2 ( July-December, 2019 ) > List of Articles


DNA Profiling in Relation to Missing Punjabi Persons in Iraq

Jatinder P Singh, Ashok Chanana, Jaspinder P Singh

Keywords : DNA, FTA cards, Iraq, Islamic terrorists, Mass graves

Citation Information : Singh JP, Chanana A, Singh JP. DNA Profiling in Relation to Missing Punjabi Persons in Iraq. Curr Trends Diagn Treat 2019; 3 (2):93-95.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10055-0072

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-12-2019

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2019; The Author(s).


In September 2017, a communication from the Ministry of External Affairs of India in connection with 39 Indian nationals held captive in Iraq was received. Out of 39 persons, 25 belonged to Punjab state of India. As per this communication, mass graves had been found in Mosul and Badish areas of Iraq. In order to establish the identity of mortal remains found in mass graves, blood samples of close blood relative of these missing persons were needed, which will enable the Iraqi authorities to match the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) samples with those found in mass graves. The Government of Iraq suspected these mass killings of Indians alleged to have been done by Islamic terrorists. The blood samples of the close relatives of 16 missing persons and blood samples of rest of persons were taken by experts of district headquarters of Punjab after guidance from this department. As per the requirements of the Iraq government, the blood samples of the close relatives of the deceased were taken on FTA cards that were sent through district administration of Amritsar to Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, for onward transmission to Iraq embassy. Later on, the samples were sent to Iraq. After confirming their identity by the Iraq government, cadaveric remains of deceased in coffins were airlifted to India for their final rites. The collection of blood samples in these cases was done as per the standard guidelines issued by Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) Hyderabad on Flinders Technology Associates (FTA) cards. The role of this advanced technology proved to be a boon for the distressed relatives of the deceased by establishing the confirmed identity of deceased and providing solace.

  1. Mass Fatality Incidents: A Guide for Human Forensic Identification. NCJ 199758, June 2005, Special Report by National Institute of Justice. Available from Accessed: April 30, 2005.
  2. Williams ED, Crews JD. From dust to dust: ethical and practical issues involved in the location, exhumation, and identification of bodies from mass graves. Croat Med J 2003;44(3):251–258.
  3. Ferllini R. The development of human rights investigations since 1945. Sci Justice 2003;43(4):219–224. DOI: 10.1016/S1355-0306(03)71780-8.
  4. Cox M. A multidisciplinary approach to the investigation of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide: the Inforce Foundation. Sci Justice 2003;43(4):225–227. DOI: 10.1016/S1355-0306(03)71781-X.
  5. Ganswindt M, Ehrlich E, Klostermann P, et al. Bone finds: a challenge to forensic science. Leg Med 2003;5:382–385. DOI: 10.1016/s1344-6223(02)00137-2.
  6. Skinner M, Alempijevic D, Djuric-Srejic M, et al. Guidelines for international bio-archaeology monitors of mass grave exhumations. Forensic Sci Int 2003;134(2-3):81–92. DOI: 10.1016/s0379-0738(03)00124-5.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.