Captain Saurabh Kalia: The Martyr awaits Justice

The Martyr Captain Saurabh Kalia still awaits justice post 17 years of Operation Vijay.

Kaash Meri Zindagi Me Bhi Sarhad Ki Koi Shaam Aaye, 

Kaash Meri Zindagi Mere Watan Ke Kaam Aaye; 
Naa Khauff Hai Maut Ka Aur Na Aarzoo Hai Jannat Ki, 
Magar Jab Kabhi Zikar Ho Shaheedo Ka, Kaash mera bhi naam aaye.Captain Saurabh Kalia

It was during the months of May and June in 1999, that the Kargil war broke out between India & its neighbour Pakistan. Operation Vijay was a tough one as it was supposed to be fought facing enemy on one of the world’s highest battle grounds. Many lives were lost from the Indian side with Himachal Pradesh loosing its two Captain-rank officers, Captain Saurabh Kalia & Captain Vikram Batra. Himachal, famously known as Devbhoomi, is the land of warriors since ancient times. Some districts of the state, majorly Hamirpur and Kangra, rarely have a household which hasn’t sent their sons to serve the motherland through Indian Army. Sacrifice a moment of proud for us but torture meeted-out to our soldiers in not acceptable in any form.

Here is cover the story of exemplary courage and valour depicted by our proud son of Himachal, Captain Saurabh Kalia who hailed from Palampur, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh.

Captain Saurabh Kalia is known to be the first Officer of Indian Army to have observed and reported the intrusion by Pakistan Army troops crossing the Line of Control and entering the Indian side. He was patroling the Bajrang Post of Kaksar sector with his five counterparts. Captain Saurabh took charge of ‘Bajrang Post’ alongwith his troops but soon went out of ammunition due to repeated crodd fire against Pak troops. Pakistani troops encircled them and captured them.

Capt. Saurabh Kalia alongwith his troops was detained by the Pak intruders for more than 20 days following which they were shot dead and bodies were handed over to the Indian Army.

Their Post Mortem reports made some stunning revelations that increased the anger of Indian citizen manifold. Captain Kalia and his fellow troops were subjected subjected to inhuman treatment; their bodies were burnt with burning cigarettes, piercing their ear drums with iron rods, puncturing their eyes and removing them, breaking most of their bones and tooth and chopping off their limbs and genitals. It was also revealed that the injuries were inflicted before the death of the martyrs.

The nature of the act was such that it should have been taken up with the UNHRC given that it definitely constitutes a grave violation of the Geneva Convention on war crimes but the Government has unabashedly remained in hibernation mode for the last 17 years and in reply to a question by M.P. Rajeev Chandrashekhar, the then Defence Minister ruled out any possibility of taking up the matter on an international forum claiming that India was bound by the Simla Agreement whereby India and Pakistan are supposed to settle all their issues ‘bilaterally’.

Captain Saurabh Kalia

The spirit of settling issues bilaterally vanishes into thin air every time Pakistan makes desperate efforts of internationalizing the Kashmir issue and the myth of the binding Simla Agreement gets busted. Thereafter, the NDA Government has also given a cold shoulder to this issue and challenged the PIL filed by N.K. Kalia, the father of Captain Saurabh Kalia, claiming that a petition cannot interfere with the foreign policy of the Government.

The Pakistan Government has on the other hand has in a typical Pakistani manner unabashedly denied the reports of blatant torture of Captain Saurabh Kalia and other troops claiming their death seemed to have been caused by adverse weather even as one of their former Army Officers somehow went on to speak the truth of inhuman treatment meted out with the martyred Captain in one of his interviews.

The political leaders have been rightly defined as ‘spineless’ by the father of the martyred Captain and we as ordinary citizens also appear to be a set of self conscious thankless people. While the Government has betrayed Captain Saurabh Kalia and the other troops, the citizens for whom they made unthinkable sacrifices and went through extreme torture have unabashedly ignored them.

It is a matter of disgust and shame that even after 17 years of their tragic death, Captain Saurabh Kalia and other troops have been devoid of justice and in fact the Government does not seem to have taken any concrete step in order to bring the coward conspirators behind their deaths to justice despite all the efforts which have been made by Captain Kalia’s family.

Source: Being Himachali




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