New Delhi: Fighting to declare his son's death a war crime, the father of Kargil war hero Lt Saurabh Kalia has now approached the Supreme Court. Dr NK Kalia said he got no response from either the Indian or Pakistani government for 13 years. Lt Kalia's mutilated body bearing torture marks was later handed over by the Pakistani army to the family.
Lt Kalia of the 4 Jat Regiment and five other soldiers of his patrolling team were captured alive on May 15, 1999 and kept in captivity where they were tortured and their bodies mutilated. The autopsy report of Lt Saurabh Kalia and five other soldiers revealed extreme torture including cigarette burns, pierced ear drums with hot rods and chopped off limbs and private organs before finally shooting them dead.
Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh on Wednesday tweeted and said, "The government of India must take up the case of Lt Saurabh Kalia with the government of Pakistan. Did the then NDA government raise the issue with Pakistan?"
Dr Kalia is demanding that the apex court direct the Centre to move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Pakistan. Despite his appeals over the last 13 years, Dr Kalia says the government has done nothing. Speaking to CNN-IBN, Dr Kalia said he expects the Supreme Court will give their son justice.
Below is an excerpt of the interview:
CNN-IBN: Is moving the Supreme Court your last resort?
Dr NK Kalia: When this incident happened, we were promised by the then Prime Minister, External Affairs Minister, Defence Minister and Army Chief that the issue will be taken up with Pakistan as well as it will be raised in the international forum. But unfortunately and sadly nothing was done in this direction. So we felt we can move the Supreme Court. The apex court who has a very clean, upright image throughout the country, so we are hopeful that the court will do justice in this issue.
CNN-IBN: Are you hopeful that the Pakistani soldiers who committed the crime of torturing your son and his fellow soldiers would be brought to justice?
Dr NK Kalia: In case Pakistan government or Army is sincere they can do all the investigations including how they were captured, where they were kept, how they were fed and ultimately who shot them dead?
CNN-IBN: Has there ever been any contact or communication between you and the Pakistani authorities on this issue?
Dr NK Kalia: I wrote to the then Prime Minister of Pakistan by e-mail. I have also written thrice to Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi but unfortunately nothing came up from the other side.
CNN-IBN: You must have spoken to the families of other soldiers who were with Lt Saurabh Kalia and suffered the same fate. What is their position on this?
Dr NK Kalia: Incidentally they are all innocent people, illiterate people. They don't know much about human rights leave alone human rights violations.
CNN-IBN: It has been a long struggle for you and your family. Has it tired you? There must have been times when you wanted to give up?
Dr NK Kalia: I am as fresh as I was 13 years ago. I am not at all tired and the struggle will continue till I'm alive - whether I achieve something or not.
CNN-IBN: What is the one strong memory of Lt Saurabh Kalia that keeps you going in your fight for justice?
Dr NK Walia: He faced all this type of treatment from Pakistan. When we think about it, it gives us lot of strength and inspiration and all the factors keeps us moving all the time.