It will soon be 16 years since the mutilated body of Indian Army Captain Saurabh Kalia was returned to India on 9 June 1999, with his eyes removed, genitals chopped off and eardrums pierced.
On Monday, a news report on the Modi government's indifference to the Kargil martyr's torture raked up anger on Twitter under the Kargil hashtag, with the article stating that India will not take Pakistan to the International Court of Justice.
It refers to Minister of State for Foreign Affairs VK Singh's reply to MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar's question in the Parliament on the subject of "Torture and Killing of Indian Soldiers."
However, while the article projects that the Modi government's decision to not take Pakistan to court over the captain's torture is a recent one, it actually dates back to the question in the Rajya Sabha on 31 July 2014.
The (unstarred) question number 2333, asked in Session 232, can be seen here.
The question asked by Rajeev Chandrashekhar was, "Whether Government proposes to take up the issue of the brutal torture and killing of captain Saurabh Kalia and five brave soldiers by the Pakistan Army, with the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to declare this heinous act as a "war crime" and move the International Court of Justice to pressure Pakistan to identify and punish all the perpetrators of this brutal crime."
VK Singh's response to the question was, "Attention of the international community has already been drawn to these heinous and barbaric acts of the Pakistan army including through our statement to the UN General Assembly in New York on September 22, 1999, and in our statement to the Commission on Human Rights on April 6, 2000. The possibility of seeking legal remedies through the international courts was also thoroughly examined but not found feasible."
Thus, the Modi government's stance on the issue has been clear for almost a year.
The move echoes the UPA government's statement in 2013 that the torture of the captain did not amount to war crimes and that it will not raise the issue in the Geneva Convention as it was a signatory in the Shimla Agreement of 1972.
Indian Army captain Saurabh Kalia, was captured by Pakistani troops during the Kargil war along with five Indian soldiers on 15 May 1999, and was subjected to gruesome torture.
Though the Kargil war hero's father has appealed in the Supreme Court that Pakistan be brought to book over the torture, which went against the Geneva Convention on treatment of prisoners of war (PoWs), successive government have turned the other way.
The Supreme Court has now asked the Centre to give its final stand on the issue through an affidavit by 25 August, Mail Today reported.
The Modi government's decision lent further grief to the family of the Kargil martyr.
"I had expected the BJP government to be more patriotic. Sadly, the new government's stand remains the same despite change of power at the Centre. This is amply clear from Minister of State for Foreign Affairs VK Singh's reply to MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar's question in Parliament," Saurabh's father NK Kalia told the daily.
MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar also made a fresh appeal to the Modi government to bring justice to Saurabh Kalia.
It's a case where crime hs been committed against brave soldier(Capt. Kalia)&his family struggling fr justice: Rajeev Chandrashekhar (MP,RS)
— ANI (@ANI_news) June 1, 2015
I filed petition in International Court,which is pending bcoz UPA Govt did not seek it appropriate to intervene: Rajeev Chandrashekhar,RS MP — ANI (@ANI_news) June 1, 2015
I urge current Govt to recognize fact,it's obligation of every Govt to ensure,crime agnst citizens are not left unpunished: R Chandrashekhar
— ANI (@ANI_news) June 1, 2015