Indian Army backs Captain Saurabh Kalia`s family

In May 1999, Captain Saurabh Kalia had gone out for patrol duty in Kaksar area of Kargil along with five other soldiers.

Pune: Chief of Army Staff, General Bikram Singh, on Thursday said that Captain Saurabh Kalia was a very brave officer and the Army had written to the Defence Ministry and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) conveying its concern over the brutal treatment accorded to him after capture by the Pakistan Army.

"In Kargil war, he made the ultimate sacrifice in the best traditions of the armed forces in the line of duty. We have written our concerns regarding this case to the Ministry of Defence. We have also written to the National Human Rights Commission. We will fully support the parents of Captain Kalia," he told mediapersons on the sidelines of the 123rd passing-out parade of the National Defence Academy (NDA) at Khadakwasla in Pune.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid earlier today said Pakistan should take responsibility if somebody from its side is responsible for the untoward happening.

"This was treated as a very seriously bilateral matter and will be continued to be treated in the very same bilateral matter. The issue is not so much as to who may have done it, but certainty the issue is that someone from the Pakistani side is responsible; and if someone from the Pakistani side is responsible then Pakistan must take responsibility for it," Khurshid told mediapersons in New Delhi.

Dr NK Kalia, the father of Captain Kalia, has moved the Supreme Court seeking directions to Union Government to take up his son`s case at the international judicial forum. Captain Kalia was captured and subjected to brutal torture by the Pakistan Army in 1999.

Dr NK Kalia, a retired scientist, has in his petition to the apex court 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 NK 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) in 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.

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, Captain 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 09, 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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