Lt. Saurabh Kalia of 4 JAT Regiment of the Indian Army laid down his life at the young age of 22 for the nation while guarding the frontiers at Kargil. His parents, indeed the Indian Army and nation itself, lost a dedicated, honest and brave son. He was the first officer to detect and inform about Pakistani intrusion. Pakistan captured him and his patrol party of 5 brave men alive on May 15, 1999 from the Indian side of LOC. They were kept in captivity for three weeks and subjected to unprecedented brutal torture, evident from their bodies handed over by Pakistan Army on June 9, 1999.
The Pakistanis indulged in dastardly acts of inflicting burns on these Indian officers with cigarettes, piercing their ears with hot rods, removing their eyes before puncturing them and breaking most of the bones and teeth. They even chopped off various limbs and private organs of the Indian soldiers besides inflicting unimaginable physical and mental torture. After 22 days of torture, the brave soldiers were ultimately shot dead. A detailed post-mortem report is with the Indian Army.
Pakistan dared to humiliate India this way flouting all international norms. They proved the extent to which they can degrade humanity. However, the Indian soldiers did not break while undergoing all this unimaginable barbarism, which speaks volumes of their patriotism, grit, determination, tenacity and valour - something all of India should be proud of. Sacrificing oneself for the nation is an honour every soldier would be proud of, but no parent, army or nation can accept what happened to these brave sons of India .
I am afraid every parent may think twice to send their child in the armed forces if we all fall short of our duty in safeguarding the PRISONERS OF WAR AND LET THEM MEET THE FATE OF LT.SAURABH KALIA. It may also send a demoralising signal to the army personnel fighting for the Nation that our POWs in Pak cannot be taken care of. It is a matter of shame and disgust that most of Indian Human Rights Organisations by and large, showed apathy in this matter.
Through this humble submission, may I appeal to all the civilized people irrespective of colour, caste, region, religion and political lineage to stir their conscience and rise to take this as a NATIONAL ISSUE !!! International Human Rights Organizations must be approached to expose and pressure Pakistan to identify, book and punish all those who perpetrated this heinous crime to our men in uniform. If Pakistan is allowed to go unpunished in this case, we can only imagine the consequences. Below is the list of 5 other soldiers who preferred to die for the country rather than open their mouths in front of enemy -
1. Sep. Arjun Ram s/o Sh. Chokka Ram; Village & PO Gudi. Teh. & Dist. Nagaur, (Rajasthan)