Hyderabad: DNA fingerprinting expert, GV Rao who is now an ex-staffer in the Centre for DNA fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) in Hyderabad, helped to provide a crucial evidence against Bollywood star Salman Khan. Rao had conducted wildlife forensic tests on the samples of a blackbuck sent to the lab. In 1999, his team had used specially developed markers to identify the species of blackbuck.
Salman Khan has been convicted of poaching an endangered species, Indian antelope or blackbuck. The actor has been sentenced to five years in prison by a Jodhpur court on Thursday.
The fingerprinting expert spoke to Times of India and said, “The investigating officer and the then assistant conservator of forests of Jodhpur, Lalit K Bora, conducted an investigation, wherein, the bones and skin of the blackbuck were exhumed. During that time, DNA identification in wildlife forensics was in an initial stage. With the newly-developed markers and methodology, we were able to identify the species and could establish that the bones and skin belonged to the animal,” he said.
Rao elaborated further, saying: “When I deposed in December 2015 in court, I explained how we developed the methodology and how the test was conducted to identify the species. In the cross-examination to I was able to explain the authenticity of the test and results. I am happy that at last the court has convicted Salman Khan.”
Rao, who lives in Alwal is now a civic activist. He was also associated with the investigation into the killing of tigress Sakhi at the Hyderabad Zoo. “I am happy about the judgement as it reinforces faith in the judiciary even though the accused is so powerful,” he said.