Patriots > Amar Jawans > Capt. Saurabh Kalia
Capt. Saurabh Kalia ( 1976 - 1999 )

Born on 29th June 1976 at Amritsar to Mrs. Vijay and Dr. N.K.Kalia. His schooling took place in the D.A.V. Public School, Palampur up to 10th Class. He passed 11th and 12th from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Palampur. He graduated (B.Sc. Med.) from H. P.
Agriculture University, Palampur in 1997. He was brilliant in studies securing first Division and winning scholarships throughout. His height was 6 ft 2 in.

He was a naturalist with bird watching and trekking as his favourite hobbies, besides being excellent in cooking. He was strong - willed and very quiet in nature, soft-spoken and exceptionally good listener. He was religious, very kind-hearted and always helpful to all. He would not react or waste time or energy to any adverse comments from others, but, rather always involved in self-improvement.

He was selected in the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun in August 1997 through Combined Defence Services and commissioned on 12th December 1998. He got posting in the 4 JAT Regiment (Infantry) in the Kargil Sector and joined there in mid-January, 1999 after reporting at the JAT Regimental Centre, Bareilly on 31 December 1998.

In the first fortnight of May 1999, he went out for Patrol Duty three times in the Kaksar area of Kargil. Hailed as the First Officer to give information of the large-scale intrusion of Pak Army and foreign mercenaries in the Kargil. Volunteered himself fourth time in place of other slightly older officer to go to "Bajrang Post" at the height 13,000-14,000 feet to check infiltration along with 5 soldiers in the Kaksar area. He was fired upon there by Pak army; these brave soldiers kept fighting for several
hours. (Could have been injured also in the fight with the Pak soldiers).

He ran out of ammunition and the signal equipment went out of order
and finally got encircled by about 150-200 Pak soldiers and got captured alive by them before the reinforcement reached at that height. Pak army captured him and his patrol party of 5 brave soldiers alive on May 15, 1999.

They were in their captivity for over 22 days and subjected to unprecedented brutal torture as evident from their bodies handed over by Pakistan Army on June 9,1999. These soldiers did not breakdown while undergoing all this unlimited barbarism. This speaks volumes of their patriotism, grit,

determination, tenacity and valor and the whole nation is proud of them.

Pak army indulged in the most heinous act of burning their bodies
with cigarettes, piercing ear-drums with hot rods, puncturing eyes before removing them, breaking most of the teeth and bones, chopping off various limbs and private organs of these soldiers besides inflicting all sorts of physical and mental tortures before
shooting them dead.

Pakistan violated all international laws by capturing them alive but their POW status was not informed to the Indian counterparts. They subjected them to unprecedented brutal torture that violated the
Geneva Convention.

Captain Saurabh Kalia fought the real battle of Kargil indeed for 22 days unarmed in the enemy’s custody. His unmatchable martyrdom in this unique way awoke the whole nation, lit the patriotic fire in country
and had a catalytic effect on the entire armed forces. He met his fate in a manner similar to Abhimanyu, the heroic warrior in Mahabharat. The torture inflicted upon Capt. Saurabh was similar to that inflicted upon the revered Sikh Gurus and on Sambhaji (the son of Shivaji), by the Muslims. History has testified that great souls have endured the greatest physical and mental tortures. They never gave up.

Captain Saurabh Kalia’s parents never had the opportunity to see him in the uniform. He became Martyr before his first pay arrived in his bank account. Destiny played a cruel joke on this great believer of Lord Bajrang Bali (Lord Hanuman). Incidentally, he got captured at the Bajrang Post and laid down his life in the "Operation Vijay", the name of his mother, Mrs. Vijay Kalia. The last words of this valiant soldier to his mother before going to Kargil were "Maa, Tum dekhna ek din aisa kaam kar jaunga ki saari duniya mein mera naam hoga" (mother, you will see one day, I will do such a deed that the whole world will acknowledge that).

The whole nation saluted to this great son of the Motherland. The
Himachal Pradesh Government, as a mark of respect, has raised "Saurabh Van Vihar" in a sprawling area of 35 acres besides re- naming the road to our house as Capt. Saurabh Kalia Marg and the area as Saurabh Nagar (earlier known as Sugghar)

Long live Kargil war hero Capt. Saurabh Kalia.

Author and Contributor : Dr. N K Kalia.