The Himachal Pradesh chapter of ex-servicemen league has urged the Centre to moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case of Army Captain Saurabh Kalia. During the 1999 Kargil conflict, Kalia was tortured by his Pakistani captors who later handed over his mutilated body to India. The league’s chief, Major (retired) Vijai Singh Mankotia said Kalia’s case also be taken to the ICJ, the UN’s highest judicial body, to get justice on the lines of Kulbhushan Jadhav.
The ICJ at the Hague has stayed the execution awarded to Jadhav in Pakistan after a military court summarily convicted him of espionage and engaging in subversive activities after India knocked its doors. Mankotia said the Indian ex-servicemen league and the family of Captain Kalia had made this demand to the previous governments but could not hear anything positive about it. “Now, after the case of Jadhav in the ICJ, a ray of hope has risen in Kalia’s case too,” he said here yesterday.
Mankotia told reporters that the HP chapter of the ex- servicemen league would honour the family of Captain Kalia along with four Paramvir Chakra winners from the state during its annual convention on May 23 here.
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The chief guest of the function, Acharya Dev Vrat, the Governor of Himachal Pradesh, will honour the families of Major Som Nath Sharma (1st PVC winner of India), resident of Dadh near hear, Lt Col Dhan Singh Thapa of Dharamsala, Captain Vikram Batra of Palampur and Sub Sanjay Kumar of Bilaspur (all PVC winners), in the function, said Mankotia.
Beside this, the families of Ashok Chakra winner from the state Major Sudhir Walia and that of Captain Kalia shall also be honoured, he said.
In November 2012, the then Army chief, General Bikram Singh, had said the the force fully supported the parents of Kargil hero Capt Saurabh Kalia in pursuing their son’s case at International Court of Justice at the Hague.
“He was our brave officer who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty in the best traditions of the Indian Army. We have written to Ministry of Defence (MOD) and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) conveying our concerns in the matter. We fully support his parents,” he had told reporters on the sidelines of the Passing out Parade of the 123rd course of the National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla, near Pune.
The league represents of ex-servicemen, their family and dependants and is recognised by Centre and state governments. With presence in every state of India, the league was founded in 1964 by Field Marshal KM Cariappa, who was first commander-in-chief of the Indian Army after Independence.
Mankotia said the league would raise a few demands with the Centre through the Governor which include raising the quota of recruitment of the state’s youth in the Army.