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22 years on, justice eludes Captain Saurabh Kalia

Captain Saurabh Kalia and five others soldiers on patrol -- Sepoy Arjun Ram, Sepoy Bhanwar Lal Bagaria, Sepoy Bhikaram, Sepoy Moola Ram and Sepoy Naresh Singh -- were the first casualties in the Kargil war. 

22 years on, justice eludes Captain Saurabh Kalia-VPN
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New Delhi, First Published May 15, 2021, 6:42 PM IST
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On May 15, 1999, Captain Saurabh Kalia of the 4 Jat Regiment was murdered by an enemy that knows no ethics and blatantly disregards human rights.

Captain Saurabh Kalia and five soldiers of the same regiment were encircled by Pakistan troops and captured alive. They were ambushed, captured and tortured. Their bodies handed over to the Indian Army on June 9, 1999.

Captain Saurabh Kalia and five others soldiers on patrol -- Sepoy Arjun Ram, Sepoy Bhanwar Lal Bagaria, Sepoy Bhikaram, Sepoy Moola Ram and Sepoy Naresh Singh -- were the first casualties in the Kargil war. 

For years now, Flags of Honour Foundation Founder and Member of Parliament Rajeev Chandrasekhar has campaigned for justice for Captain Saurabh Kalia's family and raised the issue within Parliament and outside. 

Along with Captain Saurabh Kalia's father, N K Kalia and Flags of Honour Foundation, he petitioned the United Nations Human Rights Commission to ensure a full and independent investigation so that justice is achieved. (Read the petition)

For several years now, Rajeev Chandrasekhar has pursued justice on behalf of Captain Saurabh Kalia's family. First with the UPA government (Read his letter to then Foreign Minister) and then in Parliament. 

On December 7, 2012, frustrated by the then UPA government's apathy and inaction on various letters, requests and parliamentary interventions, Rajeev Chandrasekhar filed a petition with the UN Human Rights Council. 

The government's clarification on November 2013 in the Supreme Court that it will not treat Capt Saurabh Kalia's torture by the Pakistan Army as a war crime reflected the casual nature and indifference of the then administration to the brutal act.

In July 2014, Rajeev Chandrasekhar intervened in Parliament with the government and received a bureaucrat-inspired reply that implied a status quo. 

In January 2015, the government again stated in the Supreme Court that it was not feasible to pursue the matter in the International Court of Justice.

There is no denying that the brutal torture of Captain Kalia and his men was in contravention of international laws like the Geneva Convention that governs the treatment of prisoners. 

In the case of Captain Saurabh Kalia and the five other soldiers, it is irrefutable that a crime was committed on that day of May 1999 by the Pakistani Army, and for that, the culprits must be held to account.

The inhuman torture and killing of Capt Saurabh Kalia is a war crime. Until those responsible for this heinous act are brought to book, Captain Saurabh Kalia's death cannot be forgotten or forgiven.

Our men and women in uniform serve the nation selflessly, and it is the government's responsibility to stand by its soldiers. Justice for Captain Saurabh Kalia's death is essential to ensure that these crimes are never repeated.

Join Flags of Honour Foundation and MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar to commemorate and honour the Bravehearts who courageously gave their lives and thanked our men and women in uniform who serve today.

 

 

 

 

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