On 14th February, when the world was busy celebrating love, India and its citizens were pushed into a state of mourning. A sinister plan by Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) saw a 20-year-old suicide bomber ramming his explosive-laden SUV into a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy that robbed India of more than 40 brave soldiers and injured others.
Since then, the ghastly terror strike has become the topic of great discussion in the country that recently witnessed the tearful last rites of the Pulwama attack martyrs. While many have suggested adequate action and revenge from the Indian government, others have joined hands to aid the grieving families of the slained soldiers.
There is anger and a lot of frustration amongst the Indian citizens. And, the mindset of Indian boxers was no different when they travelled to Sofia in Bulgaria for the Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament. Their nation was grieving and the boxers didn't know any other way to cheer the citizens, but make India proud through medal-winning performances.
India finished the tournament with seven medals - three gold, a silver and three bronze medals - in Sofia. Amongst the medal winners, Nikhat Zareen, Meena Kumari Devi and Amit Pangal bagged top honours at one of Europe's oldest boxing tournaments. While Nikhat dedicated her gold medal (in women's 51kg category) to the CRPF martyrs, Amit got emotional as he honoured the Indian bravehearts with a spectacular performance.
Amit, a Naib Subedar in the Indian Army, said that the Pulwama attack was on his mind through the tournament. "It hurt a little bit more because I belong to the armed forces. I was desperate for a medal because I wanted to dedicate it to the heroes who lost their lives in Pulwama," Amit was quoted as saying by TOI.
"This was my mindset the moment I got to know of the attack after landing here. I was in touch with my family members during the tournament and they also told me that I had to win a medal in honour of the Pulwama martyrs. I was doubly motivated by this thought," the Rohtak-born boxer added.
I am very happy to win Goldð¥for India at the Strandja Cup. I dedicate this medal to the families of the CRPF jawans who lost their lives in the Pulwama attackð
•#proudindian #champion #hardworkalwayspaysoff #godisgreat #boxing #womenboxing pic.twitter.com/1L99ZWWuOp
On the other hand, Nikhat, too, shared a heartfelt message on the social media following her gold-medal finish. "I am very happy to win Gold for India at the Strandja Cup. I dedicate this medal to the families of the CRPF jawans who lost their lives in the Pulwama attack," the former junior world champion tweeted.