Captain Ravinder Kaura, Indian Army
Captain Ravinder Kaura, VrC

Captain Ravinder Kaura was taken prisoner by Pakistani troops in the Chhamb sector on December 3-4, 1971. His name was later announced in the list of captured Indian prisoners on Lahore Radio. Based on information received by military intelligence, he has been kept in Lahore, Multan, Sahiwal and Rawalpindi jails since. His photograph from a Pakistani jail was smuggled into India and published by a newspaper in Ambala in 1972.

The government of India had in the meantime declared Captain Kaura dead and awarded him a Vir Chakra posthumously.

In 1975, L.D. Kaura, Ravinder's father, got this letter. Dear Daddy I am quite ok here. Please try to contact to Indian Army or Govt of India about us. We are 20 officers here. Don't worry about me. Pay my regards to everybody at home. Specially to Mummy, Grandfather. Indian Govt. can contact Pakistan Govt. for our freedom. Yours loving son Ravinder Kaura. As the dates of the letter indicate, it was completed in three days -- June 14-16, 1975. It had to be smuggled out and was received by L.D. Kaura in Delhi a few weeks later.

Captain Kaura's letter

"A verification check by my department has found that there are no Indian Prisoners of War(PoWs) in Pakistani prisons," is what Pakistan Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider had to say in response to several reports in the Indian media on the possibility of at least 54 Indian PoWs languishing in Pakistan. Perhaps the minister would not have sounded so categorical had he been aware of this letter lying with a father for 26 years now.

Another Indian prisoner, Mukhtiar Singh, who was repatriated from Pakistan on July 5, 1988 confirmed that Capt Kaura was in Multan Jail in 1981 and at the Kot Lokhpat Jail, Lahore in 1988. According to him, Capt Kaura was being held as a spy and security detenue, not a PoW. This has apparently been done to escape international protocol which prohibits countries from holding PoWs after the cessation of hostilities.