RRGwrites

On life…and learning

Posts Tagged ‘Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

That Tree Still Shakes Delhi…

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Circa 1984.

“Some riots took place in the country following the murder of Indiraji. We know the people were very angry and for a few days it seemed that India had been shaken. But, when a might tree falls, it is only natural that the earth around it does shake a little.”

 – Rajeev Gandhi; 19 November 1984, Prime Minister designate

Circa 2005.

“I have no hesitation in apologizing not only to the Sikh community but the whole Indian nation because what took place is the negotiation of the concept of nationhood, as enshrined in our Constitution. On behalf of our government, on behalf of the entire people of this country, I bow my head in shame that such a thing took place.”

– Dr. Manmohan Singh; 11 August 2005, the then Prime Minister, served India till year 2014

It is 2016 now.

That same tree continues to haunt the streets of Delhi and no apology from anyone whatsoever has helped the cause of justice as yet.

As the seekers of justice gather today and lament the delay in justice in the matter of over 3000 citizens of a minority community massacred over three days in 1984 in broad daylight on the roads of Delhi, I am deeply anguished and saddened to wake up to a morning 32 years later from the day this ghastly event manifested in the most barefaced manner on the streets of Delhi.

Well, didn’t someone say justice delayed is justice denied? May be, the phrase wasn’t meant for the commoners in India…

Authors Manoj Mitta and HS Phoolka, the tireless warriors for justice in the matter and conceivably the most knowledgeable people on this case, wrote in their well-researched book, ‘When A Tree Shook Delhi: The 1984 Carnage and its Aftermath’:

“Whichever way you look at India, whether as the world’s largest democracy, or as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, it is hard to imagine that any genocide could have taken place a few years ago right in its capital.”

Well, it did happen. And it is no solace that the masterminds and perpetrators of this rather well organized crime roam so freely, to date.

How I wish the apology of our last Prime Minister translated into actions. To a commoner like me, that would have been far more reassuring.

Not to be, as yet. The fight is on…

___________________________________________

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are author’s own and not of the organisation he is associated with.

Lest We Forget…

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Capt Saurabh Kalia“Today I am proud that I have joined 4 Jat regiment and one day, 4 Jat would be proud that Saurabh Kalia joined this regiment.”

Late Capt. Saurabh Kalia, Indian Army, echoed these sentiments when he graduated from the Indian Military Academy and joined the Jat Regiment in January 1999.

Who knew then that destiny would prove him right in less than 6 months?

Today, these words came back to my mind as I was reading the news that Dr. NK Kalia, bereaved father of the Kargil martyr, along with Rajeev Chandrasekhar (Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha), has approached the United Nations Human Rights Council, seeking justice.

Since the memory of the commoners is short-lived, let me share what Capt. Kalia’s brother saw when he was called upon to identify his body. If I recall it right, he mentioned seeing a badly mutilated face, only distinguishable through eyebrows. Shocked to read this? Well, there were no eyes, no jaw, and what was clearly visible were the cigarette burns all over his face…

History to this – Capt. Kalia, then a newly inducted officer, took with him a patrol party of 5 men, comprising of jawans Arjun Ram, Bhanwar Lal Bagaria, Bhikha Ram, Moola Ram and Naresh Singh, on May 14, 1999, in the Kaksar sector. Not to be on seen alive, ever…

This patrol party went missing for nearly two months; it was on June 9, 1999 the grieving father heard that Pakistan had returned the badly mutilated bodies of six Indian soldiers.

One of those bodies was Capt. Kalia, whom his brother went on to identify.

As it were found and reported later, these officers were captured alive by the Pakistani authorities, tortured brutally for weeks and were killed dishonourably whilst under illegal detention.

Citing ‘Army rules and regulations’, the postmortem reports of these brave men were never handed over to their families.

However, this is what the Death Certificate of Capt. Kalia recorded – both eye-balls were damaged; ear drums were wounded by a gun-shot; nose, upper & lower lips were crushed; right hand, right foot, forearm & right shoulder broken; (cigarette) burns were visible all over the chest…

Add to it details noted in postmortem reports of others – their index finger was cut, their private parts were chopped; back of the head was smashed by the butt of a rifle so badly that the skull was visible…

Once done with this torture, they were shot – all six of them – alive. The Pakistani Army handed the bodies to the Indian Army on the June 6, 1999.

Then Foreign Minister, Jaswant Singh, wrote to the parents of Capt. Kalia:

“Captain Saurabh Kalia made the supreme sacrifice in the defence of our Motherland. He displayed great valour, courage and determination in the pursuit of his goal to push out the Pakistani forces… History will record Captain Kalia’s deeds in golden letters and his name will be a beacon for many generations not only for… the armed forces, but for all Indians. You have been blessed to have had such a gallant son.”

Well, that said, harsh reality is that none of these six men were given any gallantry awards.

Harsher reality – they weren’t accorded justice either…

13 years and counting, the battle of this aggrieved father is on. Encouraged by thousands of letters written to him by a grateful nation, and supported by few righteous men like Rajeev Chandrashekhar, he has refused to let the fight go down.

Failing to see successive governments do any more than offering lip-service, Dr. Kalia recently petitioned the Supreme Court of India, requesting its intervention to direct the government to raise the issue of his son’s brutal torture and murder at the International Court of Justice, for the blatant violation of the Geneva Convention by Pakistan.

Recent news reports tell me that both the current Army general and the Foreign Affairs Minister have echoed their support.

I hope and pray this, should I say, ever-offered verbal support gets converted into actions & results and the culprits are brought to book; quite like the western world, where such an atrocious and dastardly war crime would have never gone unpunished. We know that even over six decades after the World War II, the war criminals are being relentlessly uncovered, investigated and prosecuted successfully by the European nations in the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.

I will leave you with what Dr. Kalia said recently;

“This matter is about dignity and honour of Capt. Saurabh Kalia and five soldiers and a national issue where country’s prestige was slighted due to such heinous crimes which go unchallenged.”

Is the nation listening?

________________________________________________

Photo-credit: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

That Tree Still Shakes Delhi…

with 7 comments

Circa 1984.

“Some riots took place in the country following the murder of Indiraji. We know the people were very angry and for a few days it seemed that India had been shaken. But, when a might tree falls, it is only natural that the earth around it does shake a little.”

 – Rajeev Gandhi; 19 November 1984

Circa 2005.

“I have no hesitation in apologizing not only to the Sikh community but the whole Indian nation because what took place is the negotiation of the concept of nationhood, as enshrined in our Constitution. On behalf of our government, on behalf of the entire people of this country, I bow my head in shame that such a thing took place.”

– Dr. Manmohan Singh; 11 August 2005

It is 2012 now.

That same tree continues to haunt the streets of Delhi and no apology from anyone whatsoever has helped the cause of justice as yet.

As the seekers of justice gather today at the Jantar Mantar to demonstrate against the delay in justice in the matter of over 3000 citizens of a minority community massacred over three days in 1984 in broad daylight on the roads of Delhi, I am deeply anguished and saddened to wake up to a morning 28 years later from the day this ghastly event manifested in the most barefaced manner on the streets of Delhi.

Well, didn’t someone say justice delayed is justice denied? May be, the phrase wasn’t meant for the commoners in India…

Authors Manoj Mitta and HS Phoolka, the tireless warriors for justice in the matter and conceivably the most knowledgeable people on this case, wrote in their well-researched book, ‘When A Tree Shook Delhi: The 1984 Carnage and its Aftermath’:

“Whichever way you look at India, whether as the world’s largest democracy, or as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, it is hard to imagine that any genocide could have taken place a few years ago right in its capital.”

Well, it did happen. And it is no solace that the masterminds and perpetrators of this rather well organized crime roam scot-free to date.

How I wish the apology of the Prime Minister was translated into actions. To a commoner like me, that would have been far more reassuring.

Not to be, as yet. The fight is on…

___________________________________________

Photo-credit: webecoist.momtastic.com

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are author’s own and not of the organisation he is associated with.

Written by RRGwrites

November 3, 2012 at 1:49 PM

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