Ignored by govt, father of Kargil martyr seeks justice for Saurabh Kalia's torture in Pakistan custody

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 27, 2012 15:44 hrs
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New Delhi: The father of a Kargil war hero Captain Saurabh Kalia, who was captured by the Pakistan Army in 1999 and subjected to brutal torture, has moved the Supreme Court seeking its direction to the Government to raise his son's case at the International Court of Justice at the Hague.

N K Kalia has alleged that his son Capt Sourav Kalia was captured as a prisoner of war but was killed in a gruesome manner in violation of the Geneva Convention.

The petition filed through advocate Arvind Sharma has alleged that despite making several representations to the government no steps have been taken to raise the brutal killing of Kalia, who was with the 4 Jat Regiment (Infantry), at the ICJ.

"We have made a prayer asking the apex court to direct the government to move the ICJ," Sharma said.

Capt Kalia and five other soldiers of his patrolling team were captured alive on May 15, 1999 and kept in captivity where they were tortured and their bodies mutilated.

Kalia along with five soldiers -- Sepoys Arjun Ram, Bhanwar Lal Bagaria, Bhika Ram, Moola Ram and Naresh Singh of the regiment had gone for a routine patrol of the Bajrang Post in the Kaksar sector in Ladakh.

They were encircled and captured by Pakistani troops. Their mutilated bodies were handed over to the Indian side later.

This was one of the first few incidents in the area which alerted the authorities about the incursion by Pakistani Army regulars in Indian territory.

Whatever possible will be done, says Khurshid

The government on Tuesday said it has taken up the matter at the highest level and will do "whatever is possible" in the case.

Reacting to the petition filed by Lt Saurabh Kalia's father N K Kalia in the apex court, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said, "Whatever is possible would be done but I do not want to give you a commitment now of any nature of what is possible or what is being done.

"This is a matter we have taken up at the highest level over the years and we have not yet been able to get adequate stands of the matter being addressed, that is absolutely true."

Khurshid said the incident was "an extremely distressing event" and such violations were completely unacceptable even in times of war.

He said the matter was with the Supreme Court and if the apex court requires, "I believe an adequate response would be given to the SC. The Ministry to do so I hope and I expect would be the Defence Ministry who are more closely related to the welfare of martyrs of armed forces."

He said whatever representation would have to be done at the international forum, "we will continue to do so".

He said the country has very important wish list of things to do with Pakistan.

Father demands apology from Pakistan for torturing his son

In his petition to the Supreme Court, retired scientist Dr. N. K. Kalia, has 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 Captain Kalia's death.

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.

Khurshid said on Tuesday that he was not fully aware of the latest developments related to the case, but asked Dr. Kalia to approach the Ministry of Defence on the matter.

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting (Independent Charge) Manish Tewari said that the torture and tragic death of Captain Saurabh Kalia was one of the saddest events in independent India's history, and added that the government should extend whatever help it could to his parents for them to secure complete justice.

Dr N K Kalia, who retired from CSIR, 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) in the past 13 years.

He 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.

Dr. Kalia has argued that the attitude of the Indian Government in not responding to various representations made by him for appropriate action against the Pakistan Government at the international forum, has forced him to approach the Supreme Court to bring justice to the Indian soldiers who were subject to war crimes by Pakistan.

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

In May 1999, Captain Kalia had gone out for 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.

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