New Delhi: The father of Kargil war hero Captain Saurabh Kalia, who was captured by the Pakistan Army in 1999 and subjected to brutal torture, on Tuesday 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 and pressurise Pakistan to apologise for the incident that went against all norms of the Geneva Convention.
NK Kalia has alleged that his son Captain 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.
Reacting to the development, Union External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid expressed his distress.
While terming the incident as “unacceptable”, Khurshid said: "This is an extremely sad story. But having expressed our deep distress and concern, we haven`t got an adequate response from Pakistan. I express my deep respect to the family."
"Whatever is possible will be done frankly, but I don`t want to give you a commitment now of any nature... The matter is before the Supreme Court and if the court requires, an adequate answer will be given," he added.
Former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh said he had raised the issue before the then foreign minister of Pakistan very strongly.
"The issue is so fundamental, it is just not a question of Geneva Convention or the mood of the international conduct between the nations in conflict. It is totally unfair. It is a question of civilized behaviour between nations even in combat," said Singh.
Singh, also a former defence minister, advocated Kalia`s father’s demand and said: "We should consider seriously the tenability in the International Court of Justice as a criminal case. It is the crime doesn`t get diminished simply because time has passed."
Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh tweeted and said, "The government of India must take up the case of Lt Saurabh Kalia with the government of Pakistan. Did the then NDA government raise the issue with Pakistan?"
Captain 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.
(With Agency inputs)