Apex court may hear plea on Kargil martyr Dec 14

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 04, 2012 14:10 hrs

New Delhi/Shimla, Dec 4 (IANS) The elderly parents of Capt. Saurabh Kalia, a Kargil martyr whose mutilated body was handed over to the Indian authorities by Pakistan after weeks of torture, may get a hearing in the Supreme Court Dec 14, a lawyer said Tuesday.

The Supreme Court has listed the matter for first hearing 10 days from now, counsel Arvind Sharma told IANS.

Capt. Saurabh's parents, settled in the tea garden town of Palampur in Himachal Pradesh, about 220 km from the state capital Shimla, moved the court last week.

They are seeking direction to the central government to take up the case of the torture of their son, along with the five other soldiers, in the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The petitioners alleged that their son and others were victims of war crime, which indicated violation of the Geneva Convention.

Capt. Saurabh, of the 4 Jat Regiment, was posted on the icy heights of Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir immediately after he got commissioned into the regiment.

In May 1999, he along with five soldiers -- Arjun Ram, Bhanwar Lal Bagaria, Bhika Ram, Moola Ram and Naresh Singh -- was on a patrol of the Bajrang Post in the Kaksar sector within the Indian side when they were taken hostage by Pakistani troops.

They were tortured for weeks before being killed. Their mutilated bodies were handed over to India June 9, 1999.

"In all these years we failed to get justice from the Indian government... we got a standard reply from the president's office: 'Your letter has been received and would be forwarded for necessary action'," said Capt. Saurabh's father N.K. Kalia, 64.

British lawyer of Indian origin Jas Uppal, who has launched an international campaign to highlight the plight of Capt. Saurabh, has been demanding the blacklisting of Pakistan for the purpose of getting international aid.

"I am campaigning to discover the plight of the Indian prisoners of war captured and detained by Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistan war in 1971. Yet again (in Saurabh's case) the government failed to seek justice (at the international level)," Uppal had told IANS in an interview.

India and Pakistan fought a limited war in Kargil in May-July 1999. India took back all the positions that had been occupied by the Pakistani Army. India lost 527 soldiers and Pakistan upwards of 700 men.

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