May 31, 2021 1:43:37 am
Gandhinagar-based National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU) will join a team of the Department of Defense, United States of America, to recover and identify the remains of over 400 of its missing personnel that are believed to be in India since World War II.
According to NFSU officials, the US Department of Defense (DOD) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with NFSU on May 27 via video-conferencing.
As per the MoU, the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency (DPAA) under the DOD will come to India to trace, recover and identify the missing personnel of US Army of World War II in India.
Officials said the DPAA is currently trying to trace more than 81,800 missing personnel of the US Army over several wars in the past century, which includes more than 400 soldiers who went missing in India during WW II.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Dr Gargi Jani, project manager, NFSU, said, “The DPAA deals with tracing and accounting of missing US army personnel in different wars such as World War I, World War II, Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War among others. In that regard, the DOD has signed an MOU with the NFSU to provide the fullest possible accounting for missing personnel to their families and US nation. Our role at the NFSU would be to assist the DPAA with our scientific and logistic capabilities.”
Dr Jani added that it will be the first time that the NFSU will be collaborating with an agency to trace missing personnel of a war that was fought almost 75-80 years ago.
“The work of DPAA will be mostly in the north eastern parts of the country and teams from NFSU, Indian government and US government will travel in the coming days to assist in the process,” said Dr Jani.
“The NFSU has always taken a lead to promote forensics in criminal investigations. This partnership with DPAA will enable scientific exchange in the areas of forensic anthropology and odontology and develop best practices for human identification,” said Dr JM Vyas, Vice-Chancellor, NFSU.
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