SOLDIERS: An Imp. Issue Before The Elections, Forgotten After The Elections
Who is Saurabh Kalia?
Martyr Captain Saurabh Kalia was the first Indian army officer to observe and report large-scale intrusion of Pakistani Army and foreign mercenaries on the Indian side of the Line of Control.
– What exactly happened?
On 15th May, 1999, he, along with sepoys Arjun Ram, Bhanwar Lal Bagaria, Bhika Ram, Moola Ram and Naresh Singh of the 4 Jat Regiment were captured by the Pakistan armed forces. After 24 days of endless torture, their mutilated bodies were returned to the Indian Army on 9th June, 1999. The post-mortem showed that these prisoners of war were tortured by burning their bodies with cigarettes, piercing the ear-drums with hot rods, puncturing eyes before removing them, breaking most of their teeth and bones, fracturing their skulls, cutting the lips, chipping of nose, chopping off limbs and genitals of the soldiers, and finally shooting them dead, as marked by the bullet-holes on their foreheads. The post-mortem also confirmed the injuries were inflicted ante-mortem (before death). The horror of having to go through such agony is beyond imagination.
– What is the government’s stance?
For 16 years, the parents of our brave martyr have been fighting for justice for their son. Successive governments have done precious little to address their pleas. The government of the day – the same government that had mouthed muscular rhetoric against Pakistan – has said in Parliament that it is not feasible for India to pursue the matter in the international court of law. Even after a video, which went viral on YouTube a year ago, of a Pakistani soldier admitting that the 32-year-old Indian Army officer was tortured and killed during the 1999 Kargil war which took place when the Vajpayee-led government was in power, the Modi government has now decided to bury the case. It claims moving the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Pakistan, a demand made by Kalia’s father in the Supreme Court, will not be practicable. However, due to enormous media pressure, the government had to change its stance and decide to push the case to the ICJ once permission is sought from the Supreme Court.
– What The Logical Indian has to say?
While criminal cases against celebrities are resolved within hours, a case involving a martyr is not even taken seriously by the governments for 15 years. It takes aggressive reporting by the mainstream media and protests by ordinary citizens on social media to finally wake up. This is not the strong government we had hoped for when the current government came to power. We hope the government will take their own pre-election promises seriously and ensure speedy handling of this case so that Captain Saurabh Kalia’s family can get justice.
“I had expected the BJP government to be more patriotic. Sadly, the new government’s stand remains the same despite change of power at the Centre. This is amply clear from Minister of State for Foreign Affairs V. K. Singh’s reply to MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar’s question in Parliament,” says N.K. Kalia, father of Saurabh Kalia as reported in Dailymail