Raju William, Tribune News Service
Udhampur, September 18
Kashmir may be a bone of contention between India and Pakistan, but wrestlers on both sides of the border think it best to test each other’s strength in the sporting arena. They will be fighting for the 6th Mission-e-Dosti Rustam-e-Indo-Pak Dangal title at Vivekanand Sports Stadium, Katra, next month.
To be held on October 14, the event is a part of the coming 15th edition of the Navratra festival commencing from October 8 at Katra. The J&K Indian Style Wrestling Association is organising this friendly event in association with the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, the Navratra Festival Committee, the J&K Department of Tourism, the Katra Municipal Committee and the district administration.
The decision to organise the event was taken in a meeting held at the office of the board at Katra under the chairmanship of Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Pawan Kotwal, who is also the chairman of the Navratra Festival Committee.
Around Rs 7 lakh was estimated to be spent on hosting the event, which was expected to attract more than 30,000 spectators. Besides a silver Gurj and a Patta, a prize money of Rs 51,000 would be at stake for the top honours.
The participating wrestlers from Pakistan include Abdul Majeed, Yousaf Riaz, Maroof, Muhammad Shafiq, Muhammad Bashir, alias Bhola, Safdar Ali, Israr Hussain Awan, Khawaja Muhammad Falahud-Din, Muhammad Umair and Bilal Hussain. From the Indian side wrestlers from Maharashtra, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Railways, Air Force, BSF, J&K Police, and the Army would participate in this one day historic wrestling event.