The RP-SG Indian Sports Honours has been postponed in the wake of Thursday’s terror attack in Pulwama, south Kashmir, that has resulted in the deaths of at least 40 CRPF jawans. Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, whose foundation gives out the awards as a joint venture with the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, announced the postponement through a tweet. The awards were supposed to take place on Saturday. “At this heavy moment of loss that we all find ourselves in, we would like to cancel this event that was scheduled to take place tomorrow,” said Kohli in his tweet.
The RP-SG Indian Sports Honours has been postponed. At this heavy moment of loss that we all find ourselves in, we would like to cancel this event that was scheduled to take place tomorrow.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) 15 February 2019
“The who’s who of entertainment and sports industry were supposed to be present for the award ceremony. every partner and all the sport-stars and delegates associated with this award have been informed and communicated with stating that hosting an event was unacceptable at this moment when India is mourning the death of its jawans,” the batsman’s PR team said in a statement.
Earlier, awards were announced for athletes across five categories – men’s and women’s breakthrough of the year, Spirit of Honour, Comeback of the Year, Club of the year and Fan Club of the year. Sportspersons like Sunil Chhetri, Neeraj Chopra, Rishabh Pant, Jeremy Lalrinnunga, Vinesh Phogat and Manika Batra were named among the nominees. Abhinav Bindra, Pullela Gopichand, Sardar Singh, Mahesh Bhupathi, PT Usha and Anjali Bhagwat were part of the selection panel to decide the awards.
Kohli was among the many cricketers and other sportspersons to have expressed their condolences to the families of the victims of the terror attack and condemn the perpetrators. “I’m shocked after hearing about the attack in Pulwama, heartfelt condolences to the martyred soldiers & prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured jawaans,” said Kohli in a tweet.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that the security forces have been given “full freedom” to choose a “time and place” for the “future course of action”.
In remarks made at two separate events — at the flag-off ceremony of the Vande Bharat Express, India’s fastest train from Delhi to Varanasi, and at a public meeting later in Jhansi, Modi said that the nation’s “blood is boiling” and that “terror outfits and their masters” have made “a big mistake” and “will have to pay a very heavy price” for their actions.