The first-ever DNA laboratory in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is set to start operations at Khyber Medical College after the health department imported 400 kits for DNA tests, officials told DawnNews on Saturday.

The Forensic Science Laboratory Peshawar had been established over three years ago to conduct DNA profiling but the lab was practically dysfunctional because of lack of DNA test kits.

Until now, KP authorities had to refer samples for such tests to the Punjab Forensic Science Laboratory in Lahore. But the recent development will enable them to conduct DNA profiling at home.

An official requesting anonymity told DawnNews that the purchase of kits for the lab would not only reduce the cost of the test to Rs4,500 from up to Rs25,000 but also save precious time.

"It takes nearly a week to send samples to Lahore and then receive the results. However, with the latest development, we will be able to conduct the test and acquire results within a day."

He made it clear that the test would be conducted free of charge.

According to sources, some 600 kits worth $21,000 had been ordered whereas, in the first consignment, the authorities have received 400 kits. The laboratory is expected to start functioning from Tuesday.

Rape attempt on minor girl foiled

In a separate development, Peshawar police have arrested a young man accused of attempting rape on a seven-year-old girl and filed a case against him.

The accused allegedly attempted to assault the girl in a nearby graveyard in the jurisdiction of Regi police station.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Rahim Hussain told DawnNews that a local resident of Regi told police that his daughter was coming home along with her cousin when a man took her away on a bicycle to the graveyard.

Acting promptly, police conducted a search operation during which the girl was recovered and the accused was arrested, he added. The DSP added that both the child and the accused were sent to Khyber Teaching Hospital for a medical examination.

An initial medical report indicated that rape had not taken place, however, doctors took samples and sent them to a lab for further examination.

“The girl was handed over to her family while a case was lodged against the accused under Sections 35, 39 and 43 of the Child Protection and Welfare Act and Sections 364-A, 377-B, 292-A and 511 of the Pakistan Penal Code,” said a spokesman of the Peshawar police.

The 17-year-old suspect was produced in a local court, which handed him over to police on a two-day remand.

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