In a major embarrassment to the Army, three of its officers, including a Lieutenant Colonel, presently deputed on the United Nations Peace Mission in Congo, have been accused of raping a woman in South Africa while they were holidaying there, an allegation that has prompted the Defence Ministry to order a probe.
"We have ordered an enquiry into the incident," Defence Minister AK Antony said on the sidelines of an Indian Air Force function in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The three Indian officers, a Lieutenant Colonel and two Majors, were deployed in North Kivu Brigade of the Mission of the UN in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC).
They were detained by the South African Police last week after a woman in Pretoria alleged that she was raped by them. The three officers were on a holiday there.
The three officers, who were detained on March 12 and kept in police custody, were released after the Indian Embassy officials in Johannesburg intervened in the matter.
Sources in the Defence Ministry said all the three officers were returning "very soon" as their term had ended there.
Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Milan Naidu, while reacting to the report, said "It's an allegation only. But still it is an embarrassment to the Army. We are awaiting the enquiry report".
India has the largest contingent in MONUC with more than 4,300 personnel. The mission was set up by the world body in February 2000 to bring stability in the region.