In a huge blow to not only the family of Kargil martyr Saurabh Kalia but also to the nation for whom the officer laid down his life, Modi government has refused to move the International Court of Justice against Pakistan.
Indian Army officer Captain Saurabh Kalia, of the 4 Jat Regiment along with five other soldiers was taken prisoner by the Pakistan security forces on 15th May, 1999. He was gruesomely tortured to death by them. When Pakistan handed his body over to India a month later on 7 June, 1999, post mortem reports revealed that his eardrums were pierced with hot rods, limbs and genitals were chopped off and bodies had marks of burning cigarettes being held against their skin.
There was nationwide outcry when the martyrs’ mutilated bodies were handed over to India, nation demanded justice against the treatment meted out to them. 16 years have passed and even the new ‘majority government’ has pulled its hands out and justice has eluded martyr Saurabh Kalia and the other soldiers.
“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, Saurabh Kalia’s father was quoted telling the Daily Mail.
The government claims that the family’s demand to pursue the matter in the International Court of Justice was not feasible. Well this comes from a government led by BJP, who while in the Opposition had lashed out at the UPA for not taking any action against Pakistan.
Replying to Chandrashekhar’s enquiry whether the government had any plans to move the ICJ viz-a-viz the tragic death of Saurabh Kalia and five other soldiers by the Pakistan Army, Singh replied: “The attention of the international community has already been drawn to these heinous and barbaric acts of the Pakistani Army, including through a statement to the UN General Assembly in New York on September 22, 1999, and to the Commission of Human Rights in April 2000. The possibility of seeking legal remedies through the international courts was also thoroughly examined, but not found feasible.”
In 2013, the UPA government had told the Supreme Court that is is bound by the Simla Agreement and could not treat the case as a war crime.
Nothing seems to have changed since then.