Palampur (Himachal Pradesh), Jan 9: The father of an Indian soldier tortured and mutilated in the 1999 Kargil conflict Wednesday demanded a “strong action” against Pakistan for brutally killing two Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir three days ago.
“Pakistan will keep on fooling India unless strong action is taken against it for violations like these,” N.K. Kalia told reporters here.
His son, Capt. Saurabh Kalia, was tortured for weeks by Pakistani soldiers during the 1999 Kargil conflict. The bodies of Capt. Kalia and five other Indian soldiers were handed over to India June 9, 1999, in a mutilated condition.
Speaking on Wednesday, Capt. Kalia’s father said numerous peace initiatives by India have gone in vain because the Pakistan government has done nothing to boost New Delhi’s desire for better bilateral ties.
“Such acts have happened, have been happening and will continue to happen… Pakistan would not have dared to do it again if India had taken strong action against it instead of appeasing it by arranging cricket matches and promoting trade and cultural exchanges,” said Kalia, 64, who retired as a senior scientist from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and lives here.
Kalia’s comments came after Defence Minister A.K. Antony said in New Delhi Wednesday that Pakistani troops killed two Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir in an “inhuman” manner.
The killings Tuesday were “highly provocative. The way they treated the body of the Indian soldiers is inhuman”, Antony told the media.
Kalia has already approached the Supreme Court with a plea that the government should refer the gruesome torture and killing of his son to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.
Supreme Court judges R.M. Lodha and Anil R. Dave last month gave the central government 10 weeks to respond.
Meanwhile, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has condemned Pakistan for its inhuman treatment of Capt. Kalia.
“The government of India did pursue the matter with Pakistan but there has to be a limit, keeping in view bilateral relations. Now Kalia’s father has moved the Supreme Court. I hope he succeeds there. His decision to move the court has again brought the issue to public notice,” Virbhadra Singh told reporters in Dharamsala Wednesday.
Capt. Kalia was posted on the icy heights of Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir after he got commissioned into the 4 Jat regiment.
In May 1999, Capt. Kalia and five soldiers — Arjun Ram, Bhanwar Lal Bagaria, Bhika Ram, Moola Ram and Naresh Singh — were on patrol at the Bajrang Post in Kaksar sector in Indian territory, when they were seized by Pakistani troops masquerading as mujahideen.
They were tortured for weeks before being killed.