Mumbai’s newest Crime Scene Investigation Lab!

Recently ALF was the scene of a terrible crime, but fortunately, the perpetrator was no match for a certain group of young Crime Scene Investigators.  In this post, 10th Standard Avasara Leadership Fellow Yamuna reports on the surprising events that unfolded….

One day, our Stephen Sir suddenly came into our Science class whilst we were studying about fingerprints.  He said the breaking news that our gorgeous Naina was kidnapped!  We all were shocked.  The question struck my mind, was this real?  Then I realised it was an activity, as Stephen told us to find the criminal and gave us all the evidence available; fingerprints, and pens belonging to our teachers Tanushree, Noopura and Mangala.  Also, he gave us a note which said “I’ve got Naina”, written by the criminal.  As our activity started, Tamara gave us a beaker of acetone and filter paper to use for chromatography which we had learned the day before.  In chromatography the acetone spreads out the colours which are used to make the ink of a pen.

We were in groups of three, so my two partners went to ask all of the teachers for their fingerprints.  I cut one of the filter papers into three parts in the middle.  On the first paper I made a small circle with Stephen’s pen, on the second with Mangala’s pen, and the third with Tanushree’s pen.  Then I dipped it into the acetone.  I saw that Tanushree’s pen spread into green colours, Stephen’s into black and grey colours, and Mangala’s into purple colours.  I cut the letter “a” out of the criminal’s note, and stapled it to the second filter paper, and dipped it into the acetone as before.

The criminal's note was soon subjected to careful analysis
The criminal’s note was soon subjected to careful analysis
Preparing the crime note for chromatography
Preparing the crime note for chromatography
An suspense-filled wait for chromatography results
An uneasy wait for chromatography results

I was shocked.  I saw that this ink spread into purple colours!  This gave me the hint that Mangala was the kidnapper.  At almost the same time, my two partners returned to the lab with the fingerprints, saying that Mangala’s fingerprint (loop pattern) matches the criminal’s fingerprint!

The evidence mounts up....
The evidence mounts up….

Then we all burst out to our science teacher, Tamara, saying that Mangala was the suspect!  Then we all went to arrest Mangala.  We told her all about it but she wasn’t ready to admit it even though we showed her our document with the evidence.

Mangala couldn't argue with scientific evidence.
Mangala couldn’t argue with scientific evidence.

Also, she told us to look at her innocent face but we refused, because our evidence told us something else.  After much argument, she admitted that she had kidnapped Naina because Naina had said that History was boring.  She said that she would think about releasing Naina.

I enjoyed this activity.  Stephen’s acting was also superb when he burst into our lesson to announce the kidnap.  We complimented him on it.  This was the best experiment I had.  

Thanks to Yamuna for this great report, and Sejal for sharing her documented evidence.

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