Her brother beheaded by Pak troops in 1971, woman says 41 years not enough to heal wound

It has been 41 years, but for Amritpal Kaur the wounds are still fresh. As India reacted with shock and anger to the killing on two of its soldiers, one of whom was beheaded by the Pakistani troops in Kashmir, it re-opened the wounds that had never healed for Kaur, a Jalandhar resident.

It was a painful journey down the memory lane for the woman whose only brother was beheaded and the body mutilated in a similar manner by Pakistani troops at Indo-Pak border in Gurdaspur district in 1971.

"After hearing the news about the two soldiers who were killed in Kashmir a couple of days back, I could not sleep peacefully as I remembered how my brother Kamaljit Singh, who was then 21-years-old, was killed by Pakistani troops. His decapitated head was put up on a tree with a paper pasted on the forehead. The handwritten note said 'a gift for Ashwini Kumar' (the then Border Security Force (BSF) Director General)," Kaur reminisced as tears rolled down her cheeks.

Kamaljit was a Wireless operator in the 20 Battalion of BSF and was posted in Gurdaspur. On December 4, 1971, his post was surrounded by Pakistani troops from three sides. The strapping young man refused to desert the post and fought till his last breath.

"After he sustained injuries, Kamaljit broke the wireless set before Pakistani troops could snatch it from him," Kaur recalled. She was then just 12-years-old.

Kamajit's body and the the post remained in the control of Pakistan for four days. "What they (Pakistani troops) have done now is the repeat of the ghastly crime they committed 41 years ago," Kaur said.

"We could not even see the mutilated body of my brother as the then BSF authorities cremated it. It was in such a bad shape that the authorities didn't want us to see it. But residents of Chimbal Sanghol village (where the body was lying) had told us each and every thing, including about the beheading and hanging of the decapitated head of my brother," she added.

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