When Kargil martyr Saurabh Kalia’s body was returned to India on June 9, 1999, there was a national outcry. With eardrums pierced with hot rods, most of the teeth and bones broken, eyes punctured & removed, body parts burned with cigarettes and limbs and genitals chopped off, the body bore signs of the torture inflicted upon the slain martyr.
Captain Saurabh Kalia of the 4 Jat Regiment, who was captured by Pakistani troops on May 15, 1999 during the Kargil conflict, along with five other Indian soldiers, was tortured gruesomely to death.
16 years from the tragic death, the NDA government at the centre, has said that it is ‘not feasible’ to pursue the case in the International Court of Justice. After running from pillar to post for years demanding international probe for their son’s unlawful death, the family has been taken aback by the Centre’s remark.
During its tenure, the UPA government was also heavily criticised for inaction on this issue.
In an exclusive interview with Jantakareporter.com, N.K. Kalia, Capt. Saurabh Kalia’s father described the government’s stand on the matter as “sad and unfortunate.”
Disappointed by the government’s claim that the it would not be practical to take the case to ICJ, N.K. Kalia said,
“I feel all the governments are alike, more or less. This is my personal experience in the last 16 years. My only hope now is the Honourable Supreme Court of India.”
With his eyes and heart set on the Supreme Court’s stance on the issue, he further added,
“The case is pending there (Supreme Court) and the next hearing is sometime in August. I am quite optimistic and hopeful that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India will take this case appropriately and instruct the Indian government to take appropriate actions as well as speak to Pakistan and raise this issue.”
However, Pakistan has consistently denied charges of torturing the prisoners and had claimed previously that the soldier died due to extreme weather conditions.
The incident has caused national uproar with people shaming the government for the same.
“I feel proud that not only my family but lakhs of people in India and abroad as well as the entire Indian media are helping us and supporting us in all this for the past 16 years.”
Many military families have previously felt deceived by the government and claimed that their role has been a neglected aspect of wars, leading them to question the authenticity of Indian government’s stated military objectives. All those who share the visible as well as invisible wounds as their family members sacrifice themselves for the nation know the painful truth of war as they fight for a greater cause- peace.