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Army Major under UN probe attempts suicide

Last Updated: Saturday, July 17, 2010 - 20:47

New Delhi: An Indian Army Major, who is
under probe by the United Nations mission in Congo on sexual
exploitation and abuse charges, allegedly attempted suicide,
but is now out of danger.

Major R S Ghumman, who came under the scanner of the
UN`s Conduct and Discipline Unit (CDU) after he was allegedly
found in the company of sex workers in a hotel there on July
6, tried to end his life "over the humiliation" he faced, Army
sources in the headquarters said here Saturday.

"The officer attempted to commit suicide and it took
place about four or five days ago, reportedly over the
humiliation he faced due to the probe against him. But we
do not have information on the manner in which he made the
attempt to end his life," the sources said.

During the course of questioning, Ghumman reportedly
asked for a recess and was later found in a critical
condition.

The sources said they were not aware if he was found in
the residential facilities or at the UN Mission`s office,
where he was being questioned.

Fellow officers and men noticed him and rushed him to a
nearby hospital, they said.

"He is out of danger now. He is safe and the questioning
has re-started," they added.

An Indian Army Brigade is in Congo as part of a UN
Mission for peacekeeping operations in the civil war-torn
nation.

Ghumman, belonging to the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles
battalion, was with another officer from the Tunisian Army and
the two were noticed getting out of the hotel with local women
by an employee of the UN`s Office of Internal Oversight
Services (OIOS).

After the employee reported the matter to the UN Mission,
the investigations against him and the Tunisian officer were
started for violating the rules, regulations and code of
conduct for troops serving in the UN`s Congo mission.

Visiting sex workers while serving under the UN flag is
is barred under the peace-keeping rules and code of conduct
prescribed for the Congo mission.

Ghumman is also under investigation for violating the
curfew imposed in the North Kivu province and for venturing
out of the residential facilities for UN troops at night, both
offences under the UN laws for the mission in Congo.

The Major is on the verge of completing his tenure in
Congo and is expected back in India soon.

The Indian Army too might initiate disciplinary
proceedings against him based on the CDU`s probe report, if
the charges were proved against him.

PTI

First Published: Saturday, July 17, 2010 - 20:47

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