On the occasion of the 41st anniversary of India’s victory in the 1971 war with Pakistan

“India is pursuing with Pakistan the case of Captain Saurabh Kalia, who was tortured and killed by Pakistani troops after being captured in the Kargil sector in May 1999,” Defence Minister A.K. Antony said on Sunday.

“We are handling it in an appropriate manner. We will pursue it and now we are pursuing it with Pakistan,” he told reporters here after laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti to commemorate the 41st anniversary of the Indian victory in the 1971 war with Pakistan.

The Minister was asked if India was pushing for a probe by Pakistan into the death of Captain Kalia.

Captain Kalia’s father N.K. Kalia has taken up the case with the United Nations Human Rights Commission for a direction to Pakistan to probe the death of his son.

He has also filed a plea in the Supreme Court to direct the government to take up the case of his son’s torture at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague. The Supreme Court had on Friday sought response from the Centre on Mr. Kalia’s plea.

However, India is not in favour of taking the matter to ICJ as it feels that it is a bilateral issue.

War memorial

India Gate is the right place to build a national war memorial, Mr. Antony has said, against the backdrop of opposition by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to the proposal.

“As far as we are concerned, this [India Gate] is the place to have a war memorial. We are very clear,” he told reporters.

‘Avoid Sukna-like scams’

Separately, Mr. Antony, addressing the first Defence Estates Day function, advised the Defence Estates Department to “draw lessons” from ongoing probes in Adarsh and Sukna land scams before issuing no-objection certificates to land-related projects.

“While issuing NOCs, you must draw lessons from some of the enquiries that are going on regarding malpractices,” Mr. Antony said.

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