Kishoreganj farmer first to try DNA test

A farmer from Kishoreganj who presumably lost his daughter in the country’s worst industrial fire came to the National DNA Profiling Laboratory at Dhaka Medical College yesterday and gave blood for DNA sampling with the hope of finding her grave.

Suma Akhter, 16, daughter of Bakul Miah, 38, was on duty at Tazreen Fashions at Nischintapur on city’s outskirts Ashulia on that fateful day and has been missing since. She is believed to be dead.

Work of DNA profiling on samples collected from the bodies of 59 unidentified victims of Tazreen Fashions fire started yesterday.

Fifty-three of the unidentified victims were buried at Jurain graveyard on Tuesday. The bodies of six victims were handed over to their relatives after they identified their dear ones at the DMC morgue.

The DNA samples from all 59 bodies were collected on Monday and kept at the National Forensic DNA Profiling Laboratory.

Ahmad Ferdous, scientific officer at the laboratory, told The Daily Star they had collected DNA samples of the 59 bodies and given serial numbers to those before burial of the bodies as per the serial.

Ferdous said they would make a database of the DNA samples collected and match those with blood drawn from the persons claiming to be hereditary relatives (parents or children) of the victims.

He said they had collected teeth, tissues and bones of the victims as samples for DNA profiling. He added one to three months may be required to make DNA profiling of the samples collected, while profiling on the blood samples to be collected from the family members will take lesser time.

Ferdous added they have been keeping records of contact information (address and cell phone numbers) of the persons claiming to be hereditary relatives of the victims. If their DNA profiles match with that of the respective body, they will inform it to the authorities concerned. The relative will also be notified.

Bakul Miah filled up a form containing his contact information, he told The Daily Star.

Bakul said his only wish was to find the grave of his daughter so that he could visit it occasionally and pray for eternal peace of her soul.

Relatives of many Tazreen employees, who have been missing and are believed to be dead, are at a loss how and where to go for DNA sampling.

Nilufar Begum, who lost her parents, brother and brother’s wife in the blaze, was trying to get to the DNA Laboratory but did not succeed till yesterday for lack of information.

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecules are informational molecules encoding the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and many viruses. Genetic information is encoded as a sequence of nucleotides in DNA, according to Wikipedia.

Source: The Daily Star

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