Lahore adopts biometric measures to address unclaimed bodies

20 bodies have been identified through this system so far

Asif Mehmood March 19, 2024
Representational image. PHOTO: FILE


The Edhi Foundation has initiated a biometric system in Lahore following a similar implementation in Karachi, aimed at identifying abandoned bodies.

Already, 20 bodies have been identified through this system. Numerous unclaimed bodies are interred in the graveyards near Miani Sahib and Sgiani in Lahore, their identities remaining a mystery.

In response, the Edhi Foundation has introduced biometric measures to identify these bodies and locate their next of kin, mirroring efforts in Karachi.

On Monday the Edhi Foundation conducted biometrics for five additional bodies currently housed in various morgues across Lahore.

Through biometric matching, contact is established with the deceased's heirs. Should no relatives be found, the bodies will be deemed abandoned and interred accordingly.

Faisal Jalal, overseeing operations at the Edhi Foundation Lahore, informed The Express Tribune that since January 1, biometrics have been performed on 20 bodies, leading to the identification of four heirs, with efforts ongoing for 11 others. However, verification for the remaining bodies is pending.

Previously, identifying abandoned bodies relied on obtaining handprints and sending them to forensic departments, a method fraught with challenges.

With the new biometric system, data is shared with NADRA, streamlining the process of identifying the deceased's family.

Jalal noted that currently, biometrics are reserved for bodies requiring police identification. However, the Edhi Foundation has proposed to the IG Punjab Police to extend biometric procedures to all bodies in official mortuaries across the province, anticipating progress on this front.

Edhi officials highlighted that prior to the introduction of biometrics, records for cremated bodies were based on photographs, age, distinguishing marks, and other available information.


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