India may be the third-largest contributor of personnel to the UN’s peacekeeping operations — after Pakistan and Bangladesh — but Indian troops, it seems, constitute the maximum number of fatalities in UN missions; according to figures released by their Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
Conflict on foreign soil has claimed the lives of 127 Indians — mostly in Congo and Somalia — as opposed to the death count of 97 Pakistanis and 84 Bangladeshis.
Captain G.S. Salaria, posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra for gallantry in Congo in 1961, remains the only officer in the country’s history to be awarded the highest wartime medal for fighting on foreign soil.
Canada and Ghana share the second slot on the fatalities list with a death toll of 114 each, with UK and France being next, having lost 98 soldiers each. From 1948 to May 31, 2008, the UN attributes deaths of 2,474 international peacekeepers to “malicious acts, illness or accident”.