CoI verdict against Indian peacekeepers expected soon



New Delhi; The Army is in the "final stages" of completing a court of inquiry against some of its personnel facing allegations of sexually exploiting women in Congo during deployment under a UN mission and the verdict is likely to be pronounced very soon.

The UN had communicated to the Indian government the allegations against the personnel of 6 Sikh battalion during their deployment in 2007-08 after which a CoI was ordered in May 2011 under a Brigadier to probe the charges.

The CoI is in the final stages of being completed and very soon it would be pronouncing its verdict, Army sources said here.

The CoI was being held in Meerut Cantonment under the Brigadier and also has two Colonel-rank officers as its members, they said.

The UN mission to Congo, which was established in late 1999, is one of the largest UN peacekeeping missions in the world and India had a brigade-size contribution (nearly 4,000 troops) to the multi-national force serving there at that time.

In 2010 also, an inquiry was launched against a Major who was allegedly found in the company of sex workers in a hotel in Congo.

In March 2008, three Indian peace-keepers to UN Mission in Congo were detained by Pretoria police in South Africa after a woman complained that they had raped her.

The UN indictment of Indian troops in that episode of sexual abuse had surfaced in a probe report, which had revealed "prima-facie evidence" against a number of Indian peace-keepers previously assigned to one of the units with the UN Mission in Congo.

PTI