Manipal Marches for Pulwama Martyrs

In a moving display of solidarity with the nation’s troops following the Pulwama terrorist attack, hundreds of MAHE students undertook a candlelight march on 15th February. The procession began at the Student Plaza in the MIT campus and moved on to the Quadrangle, following which the demonstrators marched out of the campus and to the District Commissioner’s office, holding up placards and shouting out slogans.

One of the several posters carried by marchers.

On 14th February 2019, over 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were martyred and several others were injured in a terrorist attack in the Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir. In the suicide bombing, a car containing over a hundred kilograms of explosives was rammed into a convoy of buses accommodating about 2,500 CRPF personnel on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, leading to a horrifying scene of destruction and bloodshed at the spot. The Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack that has left the nation in shock and elicited outrage and anger from its citizens.

Responding to a message that made the rounds on social media and messenger platforms, students turned up in large numbers at the Student Plaza, from where they marched towards the Quadrangle. The director of MIT, Dr Srikanth Rao, joined the gathering along with other faculty members. Lt Commander (R) Geetalakshmi interacted with the crowd and expressed her condolences to the families who had lost their loved ones. “Don’t let this Josh die down,  we must express love towards our country not only on national holidays but every time when we are required to step up for the nation,” said Rahul Ravishankar Singh, a student of MIT, speaking at the Quadrangle. A two-minute silence was then observed, following which, the national anthem was sung in unison. “Seeing such a big turnout of students reinforces our faith in humanity and makes us believe that the future of India is safe in the hands of our children,” said Dr A Vittaleshwar, a professor in the Department of Humanities.

Moving on from the Quadrangle, the crowd continued to the office of the District Commissioner. The procession only grew in size with every passing step as shouts of Indian Army Ki Jai rang out. Slogans like Pakistan Murdabaad were also raised.

The procession concluded with participants placing candles at the District Commissioner’s Office.

“We marched to express our grief and condolences, but we also believe that the nation must convey to the terror groups that such acts of cowardice and malice will not be accepted,” said Raghav Agarwal, a first-year student at MIT.  The march ended with people placing candles and saying their last prayers in the memory of the martyred soldiers near the DC’s office.

Click here to make a direct donation to a martyr’s family on the Bharat Ke Veer website. 

Picture Credits: Vishal Shenoy