'I am willing to go to the front if required. Studies and sports are secondary. We always have to be ready to serve our country.'
Done with the World Cup, shooters Ravi Kumar and Deepak Kumar on Wednesday said they have been asked to report by their employers, the Indian Air Force -- a routine practice but they expect 'instructions on protocol' in view of the escalating tension between India and Pakistan.
Security has been heightened in major Indian cities after the IAF bombed terrorist camps across the Line of Control (LOC) in retaliation for the Pulwama terror attack on February 14.
"We have been called by the secretary of Air Force Sports Control Board. This is the general practice after every tournament as they ask us about our plans. We will be issued instructions and we will follow the protocol in the current situation," Ravi, an ISSF World Cup bronze-medallist, said.
Though he is part of the ground staff, Ravi said as a Junior Warrant Officer (JWO), his job is to 'look after five-six posts'.
"I am willing to go to the front if required. Studies and sports are secondary. We always have to be ready to serve our country," the 26-year-old, the reigning national champion and a Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist, added.
Deepak is employed as sergeant. Both the marksmen left the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range after they could not make the finals of the mixed 10m air rifle events in the ongoing season-opening International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in New Delhi.
"We have been called by the commandant but that's standard practice after every tournament we compete in. Let's see what they discuss with us. We will follow the instructions," Deepak said.
Deepak is a World Cup bronze-medallist and an Asian Games silver-medallist. He also has bronze in the Commonwealth Championships to his credit.
India carried out pre-dawn air strikes on terror training camps across the Line of Control on Tuesday, two weeks after more than 40 CRPF personnel were killed in a terror attack in Kashmir's Pulwama.
Officials said that 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets of the Indian Air Force dropped 1,000kg bombs on terror camps of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen, reportedly killing 350 terrorists.