Employees of the National Forensic DNA Profiling Laboratory (NFDPL) have been on strike since February 28 demanding arrears for the last 10 months.
Ashish Kumar Majumder, one of the scientists from the project who is participating in the strike, alleged that Meher Afroz Chumki, state minister for Women and Children Affairs, did not provide them with any assurance regarding their unpaid salaries on February 18.
NFDPL has laboratories at Dhaka Medical College and Hospital and also at locations outside of Dhaka. There are 61 employees working across the country under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs.
The project first started in January 2006 under the the Multi-Sectoral Programme on Violence Against Women (MSPVAW) to facilitate investigations for cases filed under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act 2000.
Apart from police cases, NFDPL labs helped identify DNA samples of 7 officers killed in the BDR mutiny in 2009, 57 deceased workers of the Tazreen garments fire tragedy of 2012, and 332 deceased workers of Rana Plaza tragedy in 2013.
Since the beginning of the strike, employees of the laboratory have declined to test more DNA samples connected to different police cases as of last Wednesday.
The officials alleged the Project Director Dr Abul Hossain has not taken necessary steps to solve their longstanding problems.
Abul Hossain could not be reached for a comment.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com