Saturday, April 17, 2021
Home News Reports 'Aggressiveness shown by govt for Abhinandan was missing then': Capt Kalia's kin remembers the...

‘Aggressiveness shown by govt for Abhinandan was missing then’: Capt Kalia’s kin remembers the braveheart 20 years after Kargil

Now our country is diplomatically stronger. Had this aggressiveness been shown then, they (Pakistan) would not have dared to do what they did to Saurabh,” furthered Capt Kalia's kin while talking to The Indian Express

26th July 2019, will mark 20 years of the Kargil War. On this date, in 1999, India successfully took command of the high outposts which had been lost to Pakistan. Kargil Vijay Diwas- named after the successful Operation Vijay, is celebrated in India on 26 July every year.

The Kargil war took place between May and July of 1999 in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kargil district. The conflict was orchestrated by the then Pakistan army chief General Pervez Musharraf without the knowledge of the then Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Captain Saurabh Kalia (1976–1999) was an officer of the Indian Army who was killed during the Kargil War while being held as a prisoner of war by the Pakistan Army.

As India moves towards commemorating 20 years of the Kargil War, Capt Kalia’s kin while talking to The Indian Express recounted the horrific tales of torture the martyred soldier suffered in hands of the Pakistan army. And while doing so Capt Kalia’s kin asserted that the aggressiveness shown by our government in case of IAF wing commander Abhinandan was missing then.

“There has been no honest and sincere effort by our government to take this up with Pakistan. What other option do we have than writing letters? The aggressiveness shown by our government in case of IAF wing commander Abhinandan was missing then. Now our country is diplomatically stronger. Had this aggressiveness been shown then, they (Pakistan) would not have dared to do what they did to Saurabh,” he said. “People in uniforms also have some human rights, and that is what we are fighting for – Pakistan has to be forced to follow these rules,” said the slain soldier’s younger brother, Vaibhav Kalia, while narrating the dreadful state in which Capt Saurabh Kalia was returned back by the Pakistani government.

“I will never be able to forget the way my brother was returned.” He said what they are fighting for is to ensure that “what happened to Saurabh should not happen with anyone else”.

Captured alive by Pakistan army on May 15, 1999, Capt Kalia was subjected to unprecedented torture. The autopsy report indicated that his body was burnt with cigarettes, eyes gouged out and punctured, bones and teeth are broken, nails clipped, and face assaulted before he was shot dead.

Twenty-two days later, the body returned on June 9, 1999, was mutilated beyond recognition, his family members said.

However, till date, Pakistan denies any kind of torture on Capt Kalia and calls it “Indian propaganda”. And until today, Captain Kalia’s father, N K Kalia (70), is waging a battle to get justice for his son.

While speaking to The Indian Express, Capt Kalia’s father recounts that they have written over 500 letters and emails in these 20 years, however, successive governments in New Delhi have failed to take up the matter with Pakistan for brazenly violating the Geneva Convention, and “continuing to do so even after Saurabh’s case”, said N K Kalia.

“My struggle will not end so long as I am alive. It is not just for my son but the rights of all Prisoners of War (POWs). Why there is none to question this country (Pakistan)? What they did to my son was inhumane, and even after his case, our soldiers have been beheaded,” he said.

In these 20 years, N K Kalia has written to the President of India, successive Prime Ministers, human rights organisations, ambassadors, External Affairs ministers, and even Pakistan PMs. “Except assurances, we got nothing,” he said, adding that successive governments of all political affiliation failed to take up the case “sensitively or seriously”.

He said: “It is just not about my own son; it is about the dignity of armed forces. It is to expose the real face of Pakistan, who have till date not accepted that they tortured and killed him in the most barbaric manner.”

On April 30, 1999, Capt Kalia had last spoken to his mother, Vijay Kalia. “He said, ‘Kahin door posting pe jaa raha hun; koi call ya letter na bhej paoon to chinta mat karna (going for posting at a faraway place; don’t worry if there are no calls or letters)’. My husband is not fighting just for our son. It is about justice for every son. It is about sena ki izzat (the Army’s prestige). We are still hopeful; miracles do happen.”

Capt Kalia’s father furthered: “I have not lost. I have won in exposing the real face of Pakistan. I have exposed them. Lie is in their DNA. They call my son’s torturous death ‘Indian propaganda’. I will not rest until they are dragged to the International Court of Justice and questioned.”

His petition filed before the Supreme Court still remains pending.

To meet an end which still sends shivers up one’s spine, Captain Saurabh Kalia, an officer of 4 Jat Regiment (Infantry), who was posted at Kargil just two months after his commissioning in December 1998, was the one who volunteered along with five other soldiers to go to Bajrang Post at a height of 14,000 feet to check infiltration in Kaksar area.

Captain Saurabh Kalia’s handwritten, detailed accounts from his diary gave an insight into what was unfolding in Kargil in the winter and spring of 1999.

It had a note which said that our “PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had his tour to Pak fixed for 20 Feb 1999 for peace talks but as per information provided to us by BSF that one of Indian post was assaulted by Pak armed forces but Indian troops beat back the attack on them”.

Similarly, another note revealed that on March 2, 1999, “Holi was celebrated at Bde and Bn HQs. Paki greet and wish Holi by firing 180 med arty rounds of fire from 1000 hours to 1600 hours. Tamur and Chor Nala guns were opened up…”

Holding on to the memories of their beloved family member, the family of Captain Saurabh Kalia has made a one-room museum at their home in Saurabh Nagar, in Palampur of Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district and named it ‘Saurabh Smriti Kaksh’, where they have tried to preserve every memory associated with Capt Kalia. His photographs, diaries, books, uniforms, caps, posters, soil from Bajrang Post, to everything he loved.

Guiding the correspondent of The Indian Express through the room, Parth Kalia, 13, remembered his uncle not only as his family member but as his hero: “He is my role model. He was the first officer to report Pakistani intrusion in Kargil. He was tortured and killed. My grandfather and my father are fighting to get him justice. I still have a lot many questions about the Kargil War…” After a pause, he said, suddenly, “He loved watching birds.”

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

TMC’s Derek O’Brien opposes EC’s Covid campaign restrictions, says new rules very suitable to ‘Lutyens bungalow’ residents

TMC leader Derek O'Brien criticized the Election Commission's new Covid restrictions in a press conference today.

EC extends election campaign ban before polls in West Bengal to 72 hours, no campaigning allowed after 7 PM

In view of the worsening Covid-19 crisis in the country, the Election Commission has extended restrictions on campaigning for polls

BLM co-founder attempts to defend herself from criticism over buying property worth over million dollars, netizens point out Marxist hypocrisy

BLM co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors has been heavily criticised recently for buying a series of properties worth millions

Shekhar Gupta’s ThePrint accuses the centre of issuing diktats to states on COVID-19, which is far from the truth

ThePrint ignores that apart from the initial nationwide lockdown, centre has given every flexibility to states on the ward against COVID-19

Rally of dead bodies, threats against CRPF, lying and scaring with ‘detention camps’ so people don’t vote: What viral audio of Mamata Banerjee means

Mamata Banerjee was heard telling TMC worker Partha Pratim Roy to organise a political rally with the dead bodies to stir public sympathy

US intelligence backtracks on Russian bounty claims, here is how media ran unfounded stories to damage Trump’s re-election bid

A June 2020 article in NYT had claimed that Russia is offering money to Taliban-linked terrorists to kill US soldiers, a claim that has now been discredited.

Recently Popular

Aaj Tak to air public apology on 23rd April for sharing fake news on Sushant Singh Rajput, pay Rs 1 lac fine: Details

Aaj Tak has been asked by the NBSA (News Broadcasting Standard Authority) to air a public apology for fake news on Sushant Singh Rajput

Karan Johar’s Dharma Production fires Kartik Aryan, not to work with him again: Here is what happened

Dharma Productions said it was pushed to the wall by “unprofessional behaviour” of Kartik Aryan during shooting of Dostana 2

Andhra Pradesh man hacks family of six including two children to avenge the rape of his daughter: Details

Andhra Pradesh police confirmed that the incident was a fall out of a old feud between the accused and the victim family

Missionaries converted over 1 lakh people amidst the pandemic, claims to have planted more churches than all the 25 years of their work in...

Missionaries claim they used the distress faced by poor people during the lockdown to convert them to Christianity and build more churches

Pakistan on the verge of civil war as it bans TLP for violent protests over the arrest of its leader and Muhammad cartoons in...

Pakistan Government has taken the decision to ban Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) for their violent protests in the country

TMC’s Mahua Moitra claims wishing Hindus on Hindu new year is ‘radicalisation’

While Moitra wanted to paint everyone who was celebrating the Hindu new year as 'radical', the hate for Hindus was actually more evident in her tweet.
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

254,077FansLike
529,574FollowersFollow
24,200SubscribersSubscribe