Government pursuing case of Kargil martyr diligently: Antony

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 16, 2012 07:50 hrs

Defence Minister A.K Antony assured the nation on the occasion of 'Vijay Diwan' today that the Central Government is pursuing the case of Kargil martyr Captain Saurabh Kalia with all seriousness.

"The government is looking into the case and has offered its condolences to the family of Captain Kalia," Antony told media here.

"Not only the defence ministry, but the entire government and nation respects the sentiments of the family, as well as the soldiers. We are handling it in an appropriate manner and we will pursue it," he added.

The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Centre seeking its response within ten weeks on a petition filed by Captain Kalia's father Dr N.K. Kalia.

Sympathizing with the agony of Captain Kalia"s father, the apex court said it would examine whether it can direct the government to raise this issue at the international forum before passing such an order.

It, however, said that the Centre is free to raise the issue on its own before any international forum. The bench then issued notices to the Ministries of Defence, Home Affairs and External Affairs and sought their response within 10 weeks.

Captain Kalia"s father has filed a petition before the UN Human Rights Commission demanding justice for his son, who was allegedly captured and brutally killed by the Pakistani Army during the war in 1999.

Dr. Kalia, a retired scientist, has in his petition to the apex court earlier contended that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) should ask International Court of Justice (ICJ) to expose the "torture" that resulted in the death of Captain Kalia and his fellow soldiers.

He has also asked the Indian Government to get Pakistan to apologise for the incident that went against all norms of the Geneva Convention related to incidents of war and capture of military personnel.

Dr. Kalia, who has been shuttling from Ministry of Defence (MOD) to Army headquarters and the Ministry of External Affairs, and to the Prime Minister"s Office (PMO) for the past 13 years, wants the Indian Government to exert pressure on Pakistan to identify and punish those Pakistani soldiers who indulged in the barbaric torture of his son Captain Kalia.

Immediately after getting commissioned into the 4-Jat Regiment of the Indian Army, Captain Saurabh Kalia was posted in the Kargil area.

In May 1999, Captain Kalia had gone out on patrol duty in Kaksar area of Kargil along with five other soldiers - Sepoys Arjunram Baswana, Mula Ram Bidiasar, Naresh Singh Sinsinwar, Bhanwar Lal Bagaria and Bhika Ram Mudh. They were caught by the Pakistan Army, which kept them in captivity for over 22 days and subjected to brutal torture as evident from their bodies handed over by the Pakistan Army on June 9, 1999.

Parts of their body were burnt with cigarettes, eyes were gouged out before puncturing, teeth and bones were broken and various limbs and private organs of these soldiers were chopped off. (ANI)

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