Squash Abhay

Squash Ace Abhay Speaks On Historic Team Gold In Asiad

After clinching gold in the men’s team event at the ongoing Asian Games, rising squash player Abhay Singh on Saturday said he was at a loss for words to express his feelings. 

The Indian men’s squash team of Mahesh Mangaonkar, Saurav Ghosal and Abhay struck gold, beating arch-rivals Pakistan 2-1 in a high-intensity final on Saturday.

“I am at a loss for words. This is what we play for. This is what we make all our sacrifices for. I am 25 and live a life, which is very different from others my age,” Abhay told ANI after fetching the country its tenth gold in the ongoing Hangzhou Asian Games, on Saturday.

Mahesh said he was overcome with emotion as the Tricolour went up on the podium and the national anthem was played at the presentation ceremony.

“It goes without saying that we felt the pressure and weight of expectations back home going into the gold medal match. Our captain, Saurav, set the tone with a phenomenal performance. I would attribute the win to a great team effort. I was overcome with emotion as I rose to the podium and the national anthem was played. When you see the tricolour going up on the podium, it gives you a sense of fulfillment after all the hard work that you put in over the years,” Mahesh told ANI.

Captain Saurav shared how he kept the team together and focussed on the big final while bringing his best game to the fore.

“This medal is special as I had been working very hard to raise my own level while keeping the team together in a good mental space. It’s great that we won gold for the country,” Saurav told ANI.

In an exemplary display of grit and resilience, India dug deep to wrap up the tie and clinch gold in the best-of-three final against their arch-rivals.

In the first match, it was Pakistan’s Iqbal who opened strongly, racing to a 5-1 lead over Mahesh.

The Indian dropped the first three games against his Pakistan rival Iqbal, losing 8-11, 11-3, 11-2. After a competitive first game, in which Mangaonkar led 11-8 at one point, Nasir won the next two games rather easily to give Pakistan a 1-0 lead in the tie.

However, in the second match, veteran Saurav Ghosal turned the tide in India’s favour, upstaging Muhammad Asim Khan 11-5, 11-1, 11-3.

Bringing his supreme fitness and athleticism to the fore, Abhay dived to reach a couple of shots. However, Noor Zaman demonstrated his understanding of the angles, making the most of side walls. 

In the decider, however, Abhay worked the angles to his advantage to pick up two quick points and take the lead. 

The decider saw some fascinating exchanges before a costly unforced error from Zaman gave Abhay the win.

Zaman had two gold medal points but Abhay dug deep to win four points on the trot and secure the yellow metal for India in the men’s team event. (ANI)

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TN: 8 Dead, Several Injured As Tourist Bus Falls Into Gorge Near Marapalam

At least eight people including three women were killed, while several others were seriously injured after a tourist bus they were travelling in fell into a gorge near Tamil Nadu’s Marapalam on Saturday evening, police said. 

Deputy Inspector General of Police, Coimbatore Zone, Saravana Sundar, while speaking to ANI, said, “Around eight people died, while a few were seriously injured in the accident. Further investigation is underway.” 

Palani Samy, Joint Director of Coonoor Government Hospital, also confirmed 8 deaths. “The deceased included three females and 5 males,” he said. 

At least 25 tourists were reportedly injured in the accident. 

As per the police, the bus was on its way from Ooty to Mettupalaym in the Coimbatore district of the Southern state when the accident took place. 

The injured had been rushed to Coonoor government hospital for treatment. 

“55 people were in the bus. 35 people were injured and sent to Coonoor government hospital for treatment by ambulance,” officials said. 

During the preliminary inquiry, it came to light that the driver lost control over the wheels and ended up falling into a 100 ft-deep gorge at Marapalam near Coonoor, as per police. 

More details are awaited. (ANI)

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UN To Send Mission To Nagorno-Karabakh As 80% Population Displaced

In the aftermath of Azerbaijan’s victory over the Nagorno-Karabakh and thousands of people displaced from the territory, United Nations will send a mission to the territory, CNN reported on Saturday.

The American media outlet said the United Nations will send a mission to Nagorno-Karabakh this weekend, amid reports that about 80 per cent of the population have been displaced.

Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, Stephane Dujarric, said during a press briefing on Friday that the mission’s visit had been agreed by Azerbaijan and would go ahead over the weekend.

“We haven’t had access there in about 30 years. So it’s very important that we will be able to get in,” he said.

“While there, the team will seek to assess the situation on the ground and identify the humanitarian needs for both people remaining and the people that are on the move,” the spokesperson added.

Earlier it was reported that the self-declared republic of Nagorno-Karabakh will cease to exist from next year. This comes as the region’s president signed a decree dissolving state institutions following its defeat to Azerbaijan, according to CNN.

Further, as per CNN, the Azerbaijani victory last week triggered a huge exodus of ethnic Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh and marked the end of decades of conflict, and potentially the end of centuries of Armenian presence in the region.

After the defeat, President Samvel Shahramanyan issued a decree that calls for all institutions and organizations of the Republic of Artsakh, which is not recognized internationally, to dissolve from January 1, 2024.

“The Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) ceases its existence,” read the decree.

Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan’s borders but has for decades operated autonomously with a de facto government of its own. Last week, Azerbaijan reclaimed control of the breakaway region after an offensive lasting just 24 hours.

Azerbaijan has long been clear about the choice of confronting Karabakh Armenians: Stay and accept Azerbaijani citizenship, or leave. The majority of the population has already voted on its feet and tens of thousands have fled their ancestral home rather than submitting to rule by Baku, CNN reported.

Azerbaijan launched its offensive on September 19, firing missiles and drones at the regional capital of Stepanakert in what marked the start of a third war fought for control of the region in as many decades. Under the Soviet Union, of which Azerbaijan and Armenia are both former members, Nagorno-Karabakh became an autonomous region within the Republic of Azerbaijan.

According to CNN, Karabakh officials passed a resolution in 1988 declaring its intention to join the Republic of Armenia, causing fighting to break out as the Soviet Union began to crumble, in what became the First Karabakh War.

About 30,000 people were killed in over six years of violence, which ended in 1994 when the Armenian side gained control of the region. The Second Karabakh War began in 2020 after years of sporadic clashes.

Azerbaijan, backed by its historic ally Turkey, reclaimed a third of the territory of Karabakh in just 44 days before both sides agreed to lay down their weapons in a Russia-brokered ceasefire. (ANI)

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London Khalistan Supportes

London: Sikh Restaurant Owner’s Car Reportedly Shot At, Vandalised By Alleged Khalistan Supporters

A Sikh restaurant owner, who earlier received threats from Khalistani elements for being vocal against them, has now claimed that his car was shot at and vandalised by the extremists in West London.

A video posted on X by Insightuk2, which describes itself as a social movement of British Hindus and Indians, claimed that some unidentified assailants allegedly opened fire at the car of Harman Singh Kapoor, adding that his family has been subjected to constant threats of violence and rape by alleged Khalistan supporters.

However, there has been no formal statement from the UK police on these claims.

Notably, the claims came to the fore on the very day elements from outside Scotland deliberately disrupted a planned interaction organised for the Indian High Commissioner, Vikram Doraiswami.

“They were threatened and abused by these elements. In an effort to prevent any potential altercation, the HC and CG decided to leave the premises shortly upon their arrival,” India’s High Commission to UK said in a statement.

A UK-based journalist and researcher, Charlotte Littlewood, in a post shared on X, claimed that the attack on Kapoor’s family was ongoing.

“Attack on Harman Singh Kapoor + family is ongoing. They are awaiting police as Khalistani extremists are thought to have shot at their vehicle in London. As feared the Canada row has emboldened extremists – we will see more of this,” her post read.

Earlier in the day, she also questioned the decision of removing the panic alarm from the car of family amid the diplomatic fallout of Canada’s claim of an Indian hand in the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

“At this heightened time of threat following the India-Canada row. Where the Khalistani extremists are threatening India High commissions in the West and assassinating Indian officials in India. How was the decision made to remove their panic alarm? (sic),” her post added.

Meanwhile, INSIGHT UK, also alleged that Khalistani extremists were threatening Sikhs in the UK.

It also alleged that no arrests were made despite several months of alleged torture of Harman Kapoor’s family.

“The Police have made no arrests in what has been months of torture for this family. When will action be taken against these Khalistani extremists who pose a serious law and order threat @metpoliceuk,” INSIGHT UK posted on X, adding, “Why is the UK government not taking stringent action against an extremist ideology with a history of terrorism.”

Earlier, on May 4, Kapoor and his family alleged that they have been receiving constant online threats after they posted a video about the Khalistan movement on social media, Khalsa Vox reported.

The alleged threats were made despite repeated assurances by the police of safety and special safeguarding measures. The family had experienced three attacks, and do not feel safe, according to Khalsa Vox, a portal on news related to Punjab politics, history, culture, and heritage.

Harman’s restaurant was attacked by pro-Khalistan supporters, an incident that occurred just days after the Indian High Commission in London was vandalised in April 2023.

Harman then posted a video which garnered two million views in two days, leading to abusive calls, social media trolling, and threats against him and his family.

Harman said following the video, he received death threats and his restaurant was attacked. The attackers demanded that he remove the video, raise pro-Khalistan slogans and burn the Indian flag, or face death.

Harman said his wife and his daughter even received several rape threats. “Our address was put online with calls to rape and kill them. Videos of miscreants licking the pictures of my wife and daughter were posted as well,” he added, according to Bitter Winter, a magazine on religious liberty and human rights.

An independent report commissioned by former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had expressed concerns over the rising influence of pro-Khalistan extremists within the British Sikh community, Khalsa Vox reported.

The Bloom Review, an independent report commissioned by former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, meanwhile, called on the Rishi Sunak government to address the issue urgently and safeguard most of the Sikhs in the UK who do not support their extremist ideology.

The report stressed time-bound action on the issue. The report noted that the Sikh communities in the UK face coercion and intimidation by fringe Khalistani elements, Khalsa Vox reported. These pro-Khalistan groups artificially inflate their influence and attract disproportionate attention by lobbying political bodies under the guise of human rights activism.

According to the news report, the actions of pro-Khalistan groups create a false image of legitimacy which is not in accordance with the beliefs of the Sikh faith.

It is important to understand that Khalistani separatists do not represent the views of most of British Sikh communities, as per the Khalsa Vox report. (ANI)

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Asian Games Kartik

Asian Games: Kartik Wins Silver; Gulveer Bags Bronze In Men’s 10000M

The final of the men’s 10000m was a double delight for India as Kartik Kumar bagged silver and Gulveer Singh clinched bronze in the Asian Games on Saturday. 

Kartik won silver with a timing of 28:15.38s while Gulveer clocked 28:17.21s to claim the bronze.

The duo delivered on the big stage and earned India medals in athletics on Saturday.

Both Indians got into medal contention in the final 100 metres after three of their competitors fell in quick succession after colliding with each other.

Bahrain’s Birhanu Yemataw Balew won the gold medal with a time of 28:13.62 seconds.

In other athletics action, Indian athlete Aishwarya Mishra clocked 53.50s in the women’s 400m final to finish fourth. The 26-year-old sprinter was 0.92s shy of a bronze medal in the final event.

Bahrain’s Oluwakemi Mujidat Adekoya and Salwa Eid Naser won gold and silver, respectively, while Malaysian sprinter Vallabouy Shereen Samson settled for bronze. 

In the men’s category, Muhammed Ajmal finished fifth by clocking 45.97s. (ANI)

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India Glasgow Gurudwara

India Condemns Disgraceful Incident Of Glasgow Gurudwara

India’s High Commission to the United Kingdom on Saturday said it has reported to authorities in the UK the “disgraceful incident” at the Glasgow Gurudwara where elements from outside Scotland “deliberately disrupted” a planned interaction organised for the Indian High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami.

“On September 29, 2023, three persons- all from areas outside Scotland-deliberately disrupted a planned interaction organised by the Gurudwara Committee for the community, the High Commissioner and the Consul General of India. This interaction was to discuss community and consular issues”, the High Commission of India, London said in a statement today.

The High Commission further said that it has reported “this disgraceful incident to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the Metropolitan Police.”

Multiple community organisations including the organisers, comprising senior community leaders, ladies and Committee members and a member of the Scottish Parliament, have formally regretted the incident and have urged the authorities to take action against the culprits, the statement read.

“They were threatened and abused by these elements. In an effort to prevent any potential altercation, the HC and CG decided to leave the premises shortly upon their arrival,” it said.

The Indian Mission also stated that one of the non-local extremist elements attempted to violently force open the High Commissioner’s car door – “a matter that will require suitable police consideration.”

The Indian mission in London also said that due to the quick reaction of one of the organisers, who physically intervened at the car door, “a bigger incident was avoided.”

The statement was released after purported social media videos showed Doraiswami being accosted near the parking area of the gurdwara located on Albert Drive in Glasgow reportedly by pro-Khalistani elements who blocking the Indian envoy from entering the gurudwara.

Government sources earlier today said that India had raised the issue with the United Kingdom foreign office and the police.

“Doraiswami was on Friday stopped by a few radicals from entering a gurdwara in Glasgow. The Indian High Commissioner decided to leave instead of getting into an argument,” the sources had said.

The latest incident comes amid a diplomatic row between India and Canada over the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar this June outside a gurudwara in Surrey, British Columbia. (ANI)

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chattisgarh congress

Cong Dividing Women On Caste Lines: Modi In C’garh

Taking the attack to the Congress in Chhattisgarh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday accused the ruling party in the poll-bound state of dividing women on the lines of caste.

Further, in a veiled dig at the Congress, which has flagged concerns over the non-provision of an OBC sub-quota, PM Modi hailed the women’s reservation law as a path-breaking legislative effort whose will be felt over the “next thousand years”.

In a further swipe at the Congress, he said the central government, under his leadership, fulfilled one more “guarantee” by bringing a law that had been hanging fire for the last 30 years.

“Our government fulfilled one more pormise that we had made to the people. Under the women’s reservation law, 33 per cent of seats in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures would now be set aside for women. Nari Shakti Adhiniyam is now a reality under the BJP rule,” PM Modi said while addressing a ‘Parivartan Maha Sankalp Rally’ in Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur.

“Our President, Droupadi Murmu, signed it into a law yesterday. Amid all the statements from the Opposition, our mothers and sisters need to remember that this law had been pending for the last three decades,” PM Modi said.

He added that the Congress is worried how this piece of legislation has brought about unity among the women while making them aware of their rights.

“The Congress and its allies are rattled and upset since this legislation secured passage in both Houses of Parliament. They are only worried about the electoral fallout, fearing that the women will shower their blessings on Modi. Afraid of the oneness and awareness that this law has brought about among our women, the Opposition have now resorted to dividing them on the lines of caste. This is nothing but a poll gimmick,” PM Modi said.

“The impact of this law will be felt over the next thousand years. I would urge the women not to fall for the lies of the Opposition,” he added.

PM Modi said only Rs 300 crores were allocated for railways in Chhattisgarh during the previous Congress rule at the Centre. “But this year, we raised this outlay to Rs 6000 crores. This is the ‘Modi Model’, this is a token of my affection for Chhattisgarh. This is my commitment to Chhattisgarh’s development,” PM Modi said.

He also underscored the allocation of a Vande Bharat Express to Chhattisgarh.

“It is the BJP which gave the Vande Bharat train to Chhattisgarh,” PM Modi said. (ANI)

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Maharashtra Train derail

Four Wagons Of Goods Train Derail In M’rashtra

Four wagons and a brake van of a goods train derailed while it was traversing through the Panvel-Kalamboli section in Maharashtra on Saturday, official sources said.

Sources informed further that the train was headed to Vasai from Panvel in Maharashtra.

Movement of trains on the section was disrupted in the immediate aftermath of the derailment.

As the word of the derailment was received, accident relief trains (ART) from Kalyan and Kurla were sent to the spot, officials said, adding that efforts were underway to resume freight services on the route at the earliest.

Among the freight trains that were delayed in the wake of the derailment at the Panvel-Kalamboli section were the Gorakhpur-Panvel Express at Kalamboli, LTT-Mangluru Express at Thane, Mumbai Central-Sawantwadi Express at Taloja Panchanand, Kochuveli-Indore Express at Somathane and Ernakulam-Nizamuddin Express at Somathane.

Further details are awaited. (ANI)

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Indian Soldiers

Indian Soldiers Role In WWI Brought To Life In Army Museum Expo In London

The National Army Museum is currently highlighting the critical contribution of the British Indian Army during the First World War through a temporary exhibition titled “British Indian Army: Soldiers of the First World War.”

Created together with the United Service Institution of India, the display “Looks at the history of the British Indian Army and its Indian soldiers in the First World War,” explained Julian Farrance, Liaison Officer at the museum. It highlights their “absolutely vital” role across multiple fronts and campaigns, he emphasized.

“The history of the British Indian Army is very key to the National Army Museum,” Farrance stated, noting that some of the museum’s first collections were of Indian soldiers.

“We wanted to look at that specifically in this temporary exhibition and particularly at the history of the First World War,” he said.

Nearly 1.4 million Indian men served in the Great War (World War I), making up the largest volunteer force ever assembled at the time. The exhibition brings to life their indispensable service from 1914 to 1918 in major theatres like the Western Front, Gallipoli, and Mesopotamia as well as lesser-known Asian fronts.

Featuring photographs, artwork reproductions, documents and medals of Indian soldiers, the exhibition shows that “We (Great Britain) would not be able to prosecute the war the way that we do without their contribution,” Farrance emphasized.

Though the role of Indian troops is “a subject that tends to be overlooked” in the UK’s popular memory of the war, Farrance said: “Looking at that contribution and putting it into these kinds of exhibitions is something that we do very regularly at the museum to provide a more complete historical picture.”

“There are so many different contributing countries that put soldiers into the British Army throughout its long history. But one of the most important ones is the contribution of Indian soldiers,” Farrance said, stating that the museum continually highlights the role of the British Indian Army.

The exhibition opened in August and will run through till November 5, spotlighting a vital part of the museum’s origins and collections. (ANI)

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Animal Abuse

Rights Groups, NGOs Call For ‘Maha Rally’ Against Animal Abuse

A group of over 40 NGOs and animal welfare groups have unitedly called for a ‘Maha Rally’ at Jantar Mantar in the National Capital on October 1 to raise voice against cruelty to the animals who “face daily persecution” in the country.

According to a press statement issued by the India Unites For Animal Rights (IUFAR) on Saturday, “There will be lawyers, teachers, students, actors, doctors, engineers, architects, social activists joining hands and hearts to highlight the plight of animals in this land of Ahimsa.” The event is being held a day ahead of birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who “famously said that the progress of a nation can be judged by the way it treats its animals”.

The pan-India umbrella group includes prominent animal welfare bodies like People for Animals, Friendicoes, House of Stray Animals, Nandi Sewa Trust, Kashmir Animal Welfare Foundation amid many others.

Noted singer and guitarist Rahul Ram is scheduled to lend his voice to the theme of the rally,

Jeene Bhi Do Yaaro.

The press statement highlighted the cruelty to animals from goats “exported live to the Middle East for halal meat” to camels and cows “openly smuggled to Bangladesh” in unhealthy and unsafe conditions.

“The fine for crimes against animals is a laughable Rs 50. We shall be collecting signatures for a ‘No More 50’ petition to the PM to pass the long awaited amendment strengthening punishment for crimes against animals,” the communique stated.

The group also sought support from media representatives, to help amplify the suffering that goes unseen, unnoticed and unpunished. “Let’s join together so that the cries of billions of animals may no longer be ignored,” it stated.

The event will be held between 2 and 5 pm at Jantar Mantar, Parliament Road in New Delhi.

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