Shimla, July 27: “We are waiting and waiting for justice. Our struggle is for the dignity of soldiers, but none is bothered.” So felt the parents of Kargil hero, Captain Saurab Kalia, at Palampur in Himachal Pradesh, as the country went rhetoric on yet another Kargil Vijay Diwas on Wednesday.
On his first assignment in the Indian Army, 22-year-old Captain Saurabh Kalia was one of the first officers to report the 1999 incursion in Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir and he, along with five other soldiers were taken hostage by Pakistani troops on 15 May. Captain Kalia and Sepoys Arjun Ram, Bhanwar Lal Bagaria, Bhika Ram, Moola Ram and Naresh Singh of 4 Jat Regiment were subject to torture in captivity, before their mutilated bodies were handed over to the Indian government on 9 June 1999.
Since then, Captain Saurabh Kalia’s father, NK Kalia, 68, a retired scientist, has highlighted the issue as ‘war crime, in gross violation of Geneva convention (for prisoners of war), at every platform. He has put in every effort to urge the Indian authorities take up the matter of ‘barbaric killing of his son and five other soldiers by Pakistan army’ to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). But to no avail.
Upset over the set over the cold and confused response of successive governments in Centre, NK Kalia said he moved the Supreme Court of India five years back and the case is now pending there.
“The Kargil Vijay Diwas is a feeling. But this spirit to honour the sacrifice of the soldiers should not be confined to one day or mere photo sessions,” he continued, as he termed the show off by political powers on the issue a ‘hypocrisy’.
“The real issue is that there have been cases of Pak troops beheading Indian soldiers or mutilating their bodies on the borders. What has the government done to stop this crime?” NK Kalia questioned.
The lonely battle by the brave soldier’s parents hasn’t won desired support from the powers so far that can make a difference. The HP government too has not shown much interest to back the struggle reportedly due to the complicated jurisdiction of the issue. But this doesn’t stop them from pushing the matter.
“We can’t approach ICJ on our own. But we would keep fighting Saurabh’s case for justice, so that the act is not repeated,” he added.
As many as 527 soldiers from the country laid down their lives to liberate the Indian territories occupied by Pakistani forces during 64-day long Kargil war in 1999. Out of these, 52 martyrs were from HP. Two soldiers from the state, Captain Vikram Batra (posthumously) and Rifle Man Sanjay Kumar were awarded with Param Vir Chakra, the highest gallantry award of Indian army.
Source The Statesman