PALAMPUR: Dr. N . K. Kalia, father of Martyr Captain Saurabh Kalia, who laid down his life in Kargil conflict seven years ago while guarding the frontiers at Kargil , has been moving from pillar to post and has approached several national and international organizations to pressurize Pakistan to identify, book and punish those who indulged in most heinous, inhuman and unpardonable crime, kept his son in captivity for three weeks and subjected to unprecedented brutal torture as evident from his body handed over by the Pakistani army to Indian army But his earnest efforts had yielded no fruitful results.
Dr. N. K. Kalia and Mrs. Vijay Kalia, the parents of brave solider are a harassed lot today . They had not forgotten that what happened with them seven years ago, their wounds are yet to heal, they are still struggling for their cause. They say not only parents but the Indian Army and the whole nation had lost a dedicated and honest son. It may be recalled that Capt Kalia was the first officer to detect and inform about the Pak intrusion while doing patrol duties in the first fortnight of May, 1999. Capt. Saurabh Kalia along with his five jwans were captured alive on the Indian side of LOC on May 15. 1999.
While talking to me, disappointed and disheartened Kalia couple says that Pak army indulged in the most dastardly acts of burning bodies with cigarettes, piercing ears with hot iron rods, removing eyes before puncturing them, breaking most of the bones and teeth, chopping off various limbs and private organs of these soldiers, besides inflicting unimaginable physical and mental tortures.
Dr. Kalia says that evidently being leader, his son fought the real battle for 22 days undergoing the worst possible ordeal. The enemy gave in but these valiant sons did not break while undergoing all this unlimited savagery. Pak army had to shoot them ultimately. The detailed post – mortem conducted by the Indian Army reflects all this, which a common man would shiver just to think of what had happened to these soldiers.
Dr Kalia says, capturing and being captured is part of every conflict between two countries. But they were captured alive but their POWs status was not intimated to India. They subjected to such an inhuman and brutal treatment that violates the GENEVA CONVENTION to which both India and Pakistan are the signatories. The postmortem report confirms that injuries were inflicted ante mortem (before death).
Becoming sentimental Dr. Kalia, argues that sacrificing oneself for the nation is an honor , every soldier would love to do but no parents can accept what happened to these brave sons of India. But after this unfortunate incident every parents would think twice to send their wards in the armed forces if the government falls short of its duty of safeguarding their PRISONERS OF WAR AND LET THEM MEET THE FATE OF THESE SOLDIERS. This may set a disturbing trend. This must be understood that this is not the problem of Kalia family only but a national issue, he adds.
Dr. Kalia feels that, apathy on the part of union government and Indian army had sent wrong signals to the army personnel fighting for the nation that our POWs in Pak cannot be taken care of. If Pakistan is allowed to go unpunished in this case, she had every reason to get emboldened to strike more dangerously in future.
Mr. Kalia says that the whole western world would have gone berserk had this happened there. It is unfortunate that Indian Human Rights Organizations are mum and showing very feeble reaction to this vital issue.
Dr. Kalia is grateful to media and public for their reactions and sentiments, which overwhelmed him. He regrets that when the bodies of these brave martyrs arrived in New Delhi In 1999, there were lot of statements from various ministers including Prime Minister and other high ranking officials, but over the time all initiatives have evaporated .