SC issues notice to Centre over beheading of Indian soldier by Pak Army

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 04, 2013 11:03 hrs

New Delhi: India hopes to get a "correct response" from Pakistan on the issue of death of Captain Saurabh Kalia, who was tortured and killed by Pakistan Army personnel during the Kargil war in 1999.

"This has been a very sad and condemnable incident that has taken place, which the Indian government has condemned. And it is something that we hope that we will get a correct response to what we have asked from Pakistan. That is all I can say at the moment," Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur said.

She was asked about British lawyer of Indian origin Jas Uppal planning to raise the issue of the Captain's death before the Committee of Human Rights of British Parliament. Uppal has launched an international campaign to highlight the case.

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 them to brutal torture which was evident from their bodies that were handed over by the Pakistan Army to India on June 9, 1999.

'Pakistan's actions are contrary to Geneva Convention'

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to Centre on a PIL seeking direction to government to raise before the International Criminal Court (ICC) the issue of beheading and mutilation of bodies of two Indian soldiers by Pakistan.

A bench of justices P Sathasivam and J S Khehar asked the government to file a response within four weeks.

The bench tagged the case with another petition which had raised the issue of mutilation of the body of another Indian soldier, late Captain Saurabh Kalia, by Pakistani Armed Forces during the Kargil war.

The court passed the order on a PIL filed by one Sarwa Mitter alleging that the government has not taken any action against Pakistan after the ghastly killing of the two jawans on January 8 and sought the court's interference in the matter.

"Killing of two jawans of Indian Army, including their beheading is highly heinous and inhuman. Therefore, direct the government to refer actions of Pakistan to the International Criminal Court," the petition said, adding, "Pakistan's actions are contrary to Geneva Convention and action must be taken against them."

Earlier, the apex court had sought the Centre's response on the plea of father of Kargil war hero Capt Kalia, who was captured by the Pakistan Army in 1999 and subjected to brutal torture, seeking directions to the Government to raise his son's case at the International Court of Justice at the Hague.

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.

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