Olympian pugilist swaps boxing gloves for riot kit

In July 2008,Dinesh Kumar Sangwan was busy preparing for the Beijing Olympics and was a medal hopeful

Written by Nitin Sharma | Chandigarh | Published:July 21, 2012 2:17 am

In July 2008,Dinesh Kumar Sangwan was busy preparing for the Beijing Olympics and was a medal hopeful. But on Thursday,he was on a different and tense assignment — to guard the charred Manesar factory of Maruti Suzuki.

In fact,he had to cut short fellow boxer and Beijing Olympics bronze medalist Vijender Singh when he called from London on Thursday. The 24-year-old had to ask Vijender to call back over the weekend.

Sangwan is part of the 1,200-strong Haryana Police team deployed at the Maruti factory,which was completed damaged in the labour unrest on Wednesday. “We had to rush here after DGP R S Dalal issued orders. When we reached here on Thursday morning,the situation was very bad. It was later brought under control,” he said.

“Currently,I am responsible for the safety of one of the gates,” Dinesh,who won a silver medal in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou,China,said.

A bronze medalist in the 2008 World Cup in Chicago,Sangwan lost in the first round in Beijing in the 81-plus kg category.

Sangwan,who grew up in Mithathal village,and Vijender are close friends and they were room-mates in National Institute of Sports,Patiala.

Early this year,Sangwan was edged out by youngster Sumit Sangwan in the trials for the Asian qualifiers for the London Olympics.

“Four years ago,I was in Beijing. And now,I am here doing my duty as police inspector. Viju called me yesterday and I told him to call later. He understood and wished me luck. I was a bit nervous after seeing the charred remains of the plant. We are here to protect the plant,” he said.

“We have been given anti-riot kits. Training as a boxer comes handy in such situations and I am happy that I can serve the country like this if not in the Olympics,” he said.

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