Who is Captain Saurabh Kalia? Why has Centre denied justice to him?

| Monday, June 1, 2015 - 20:33
First Published |

NEW DELHI: The Centre appears to be cold to brutal atrocities of its soldiers in Kargil war and is forgetting the courage of the soldiers at the ground. Among the first casualties during the 1999 Kargil war were Saurabh Kalia, Sepoys Arjunram Baswana, Mula Ram Bidiasar, Naresh Singh Sinsinwar, Bhanwar Lal Bagaria and Bhika Ram Mudh of 4 Jat Regiment. The Pakistani troops brutally tortured and killed them all after capturing them at the time of scouting patrol in the treacherous mountainous terrain in May 1999.

The Pakistan Army subjected Captain Kalia and his soldiers to dreadful pain in which they not pierced their ear drums with hot iron rods, but also punctured their eyes and chopped their genitals.

The autopsy report of the bodies also revealed that the body of the soldiers were burned with cigarette butts and limbs, while nose and lips were too cut off with teeth broken and skull fractured.

However, in spite of having such powerful evidence, the Indian government is yet to move hard towards Pakistan. Not only this, the Central government has now denied approaching the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the horrendous treatment given to the war heroes.

Centre headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has claimed that moving the ICJ against Pakistani regarding this is not ‘practical’.

The reaction from the Narendra Modi government came following the demand from Captain Kalia’s family for international investigation in the Supreme Court.

In UPA’s reign

The decision to not approach the ICJ for the matter by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is sure to receive criticism from all corners as Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), standing as the Opposition to the former United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had slammed them for not acting against Pakistan.

The UPA on the other hand maintained that it could not move the ICJ as Pakistan would not allow for the same.

What happened in May 1999?

The martyrs including Captain Kalia and others were declared missing a day later after an unfortunate patrol moved down the Kaksar Langpa area in Kargil on May 14, 1999. After keeping them captive for approximately 22 days till June 7, 1999, their mutilated bodies were handed over to the Indian Army on June 9, 1999 who later discovered that the soldiers had suffered a brutal torture before being killed.

The episode caused a massive uproar across the country as the torturing of Prisoners of War (PoW) is against the Geneva Convention.

What does the family of martyr demand?

The family of Captain Kalia has expected the Indian government to pick up the issue with the International Court of Justice, which has now been refused by the NDA.

In spite of continuous requests, family accuses that there has been no firm promise from the Indian government against Pakistan over the unashamed human rights violation, torture and killing of Captain Kalia and his men.

What Pakistan claims?

The Indian counterpart however has denied all charges of human rights violation and maintained throughout that Captain Kalia and his soldiers were not killed by the Pakistan Army. They claimed that the Indian soldiers succumbed to the extreme weather conditions of the area and their bodies were found in a pit.

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