The Indian Army has started a court of inquiry against 12 officers including 39 soldiers involved in cases of sexual abuse, while they were deployed as UN peacekeepers in Congo.
According to reliable sources, the inquiry is being held in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh where the officers and soldiers are being questioned, if they had sexually abused local women and also fathered children, while on a UN peacekeeping mission in 2008.
A brigadier is heading the court of inquiry along with two colonels as its members. The sexual abuse came to light after DNA tests commissioned by the UN on the children born by local women in Durla in the Congo, which showed that they had distinctive Indian features. The UN wrote to Indian Army requesting further investigations, with the latest reminder coming in August 2010. In January, the army asked its Chandimandir-based Western Command to order a court of inquiry and it was constituted on May 24, 2011.
An Indian Army official admitted that there were some allegations and the investigation was underway, further adding that the army headquarters had received an inconclusive report from the UN.
The regiment, in which the officers and soldiers were serving, was called back from Congo and attached to the Western command headquarters.