Down Memory Lane
They lived for India, died defending India
By M.K. Paul
From December 3 to December 16, 1971 there was Indo-Pak full-fledged war on western sector and eastern sector. In eastern sector brave Indian Army had cut all the supply line of Pakistan by sea and air. There was no ground links between West Pakistan and East Pakistan. On December 16, 1971, Lt. Gen. Amir Abdulla Niyazi of Pakistan along with about 93,000 Pakistani soldiers had surrendered before Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora of India at Dhaka. 93,000 Pakistani soldiers and officers were brought from Dhaka to India. They were kept in the Army camps. All the 93,000 prisioners of war (PoWs) were given very good treatment by the Indian Army. They were given all facilities according to their ranks. In those days of 1972, Indian government had spent Rs. 33 crore for observation of all declaration of International Human Rights and Geneva Treaty, dated August 12, 1949 regarding the PoWs.
Then the historical Shimla Agreement (July 2 and 3, 1972) was signed by Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, and Mr. Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan. It was agreed to return all prisoners of war by both the countries. Indian government had honestly returned all the 93,000 prisoners of war of Pakistan. It was the biggest history of the world in those days of 1972 for observation of all International Human Rights by Indian government. About 2238 officers, soldiers, pilots of India were found missing from the western sector of Kashmir. There was no evidence at all for the name sake that those 2238 patriot, brave Army officers of India are killed in action. Pakistan government had returned only 617 Indian officers/soldiers. Without any legal, lawful authentic evidence at all, the Indian government had closed the files of the remaining 1621 Army personnel and had declared them ?presumed killed in action?. Ministry of Defence had started payment of widow pension and family pension to their dependents. The Indian government had left and forgotten the patriot brave heroes of 1971 war for languishing painfully in Pakistani jails.
Young Major Ashok Suri of 5th Assam Regiment had any how managed to send three letters from Karachi Jail on dated 7.12.74, 26.12.1974 and 16.6.1975 to his father Dr. Ramswaroop Suri of Faridabad stating that he is in Karachi Jail along with other 20 officers. Dr. Suri of Faridabad had handed over all the three letters to Smt. Indira Gandhi and had requested for the early release of his son and all other Indian Army officers who were dishonestly detained by the Pakistan in breach of Shimla Agreement. Dr. Ramswaroop Suri also met Shri Narasimha Rao, Shri Deva Gowda, Shri I.K. Gujral and Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee between 1974 and 1997 for the release of his son and others but in vain. Dr. Ramswaroop Suri had passed away in the year 1997 and till last days of his life he fought for the release of his son and others from the Pakistani jails.
THE FORGOTTEN HEROES OF 1971 WAR.
In the same way, 95-year-old Mr Lalaram Sharma of Kangra, Retd. Col. Dhandas, Mrs. Sushila Tayagi, Mr. and Mrs. Ghosh of Faridabad, Mr L.D. Kaura and Mr. O.P. Sabharwal of New Delhi have been painfully waiting for the last 33 years for seeing the faces of their loving sons. The wives of PoWs Mrs. Poonam Goswami, Mrs. Damayanti Tambey, Mrs. Kamlesh Jain of Delhi, Mrs. Nirmal Kaur of Jammu, Mrs Kanta Devi of Poonch, Mr. Rano Devi of Kathura, Mrs. Suman Purohit of Agra and many others have been painfully waiting for the last 33 years for the return of their loving husbands. Can one imagine the pain, shock and sufferings of old fathers, mothers, wives and children as to how they have passed the long period of painful waiting of 33 years.
Last year, I had gone to attend one International Study Session of Human Rights at Strasbourg, France for presenting this painful case of 54 PoWs at my own cost. When I had discussed the above referred 33-year-old painful case of violation of International Human Rights by Pakistan, 350 delegates of the world had told me that this was a very painful case of biggest violation of International Human Rights by Pakistan. I had also gone to International Red Cross and International Human Rights Commission at Geneva, Switzerland, also for presenting this case only on behalf of Missing Defence Personbnel Relatives Association, New Delhi. At all the places, I was put a question whether I was a representative of government of India. I said no I am not a representative of Government of India but I am a representative of 100 crore people of India. I am a personal representative of victim families of the prisoners of war. They put me a pointed question what action is taken by your Indian government for this painful case of biggest violation of International Human Rights by Pakistan at the international level for the last 33 years? I had no answer.
My observation of last 10 years is that during the last 33 years neither the Ministry of External Affairs nor any Prime Minister nor the National Human Rights Commission has cared to take this painful humanitarian issue seriously. In Parliament this painful question was raised on the various dated as shown in the table, but nothing concrete came out of it.
(To be concluded)
|3128||Unstirred||04/09/1996||External Affairs||O.P. Kohli||Indian prisoners of war in Pakistani jails|
|4285||Unstirred||15/05/1997||External Affairs||Rajnath Singh||Indian prisoners of war in Pakistani jails|
|2504||Unstirred||14/8/1997||External Affairs||Vishnu Kant Shastri||Discussion on PoWs issue in Indo-Pak talks|
|352||Unstirred||25/02/1999||External Affairs||Janeswar Misra||Indian soldiers in Pakistani jails|
|988||Unstirred||04/03/1999||External Affairs||Sanjay Nirupam||Indian prisioners in Pakistani jails|
|325||Unstirred||02/12/1999||External Affairs||Anantray Devshankar Dave||Indians in Pakistani jails|
|791||Unstirred||08/12/1999||Defence||Saroj Dubey||Indian soldiers detained in Pak jails|
|929||Unstirred||09/12/1999||External Affairs||Ramjilal||Release of Indian captives in Pak jails|
|86||Stirred||01/03/2000||Defence||Kartar Singh Duggal||Missing defence personnel|
|4174||Unstirred||04/05/2000||External Affairs||Abani Roay||Indian PoWs in Paksitani jails|
|4731||Unstirred||10/05/2000||Defence||Suresh Pachouri||Defence personnel in|
|330||Unstirred||26/07/2000||Defence||Nana Deshmukh||PoWs in Pak jails|