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Let’s treat animals with love, bring an end to cowardly acts: Virat Kohli




Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli was among several sportspersons who took to social media to express shock over the inhuman incident where a pregnant elephant was fed pineapple stuffed with firecrackers in Kerala.

The brutal incident of animal abuse took place in Kerala’s Palakkad district, which resulted in the death of the elephant while standing in the river.

“Appalled to hear about what happened in Kerala. Let’s treat our animals with love and bring an end to these cowardly acts,” Kohli said in a tweet from his Twitter handle.

Star shuttler Saina Nehwal condemned the act by replying to People For Animals India’s post on the brutality. “So sad to know this,” Saina said.

Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri called the perpetrators of this as “monsters”.

“She was a harmless, pregnant Elephant. That makes the people who did what they did, monsters and I hope so hard that they pay a price. We keep failing nature over and over again. Remind me how we’re the more evolved species?” Chhetri tweeted.

India pacer Umesh Yadav echoed Chhetri and called for strict action to be taken against those who did it.

“Feeding a pregnant elephant with a pineapple filled with crackers. Only a monster can do this. Strict action should be taken against the culprits,” Umesh said in a tweet.

Director of Celebrity and Public Relations, PETA India, Sachin Bangera has been very vocal and celebrities have been replying to his posts, asking him to get the criminals arrested.

“Never understood humans. They revere elephant-God and also abuse elephants by beating, torturing and using them for joyrides,” he tweeted.

Olympian pistol shooter Heena Sidhu wrote, replying to the post: “Not a rocket science…

“This is the Elephant God and this is just plain old elephant. Just like…This is a rich businessman and this one just a plain old migrant labourer or farmer. We all know what to worship and what to abuse.”

Many celebrities both from the world of sports and entertainment shared images and sketches to express their anger and grief.

Ace India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh also posted a series of angry faced emoticons on a newsfeed of the same. Later, Harbhajan said in an Instagram post that he cannot get over this dastardly act.

“I honestly can’t get over this! It’s hurting so bad to think of what she went through.. I pray whoever did this gets the harshest of punishment.. are these inhuman people just born this way or is it upbringing??”

The Kerala Forest department has launched a ‘manhunt’ for those responsible for the death of the 15-year-old pregnant wild elephant, said an official.

In another tweet Sachin wrote: “PETA is in touch with @ForestKerala. A case has been registered against unidentified persons under Secs 9 & 51 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. We’ve offered our support and assistance to the forest dept. in bringing the perpetrators to justice. Via @asharmeet02.”


Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw meets Mirabai Chanu, announces Rs 2 cr reward




Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Monday met Indian Railways weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, who won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and announced a cash reward of Rs 2 crore for her.

In a tweet, the Railway Ministry said: “Hon’ble MR, Sh. @AshwiniVaishnaw felicitates Olympic silver medallist & Indian Railways’ weightlifter, Ms. @mirabai_chanu

“Hon’ble MR announces cash award of Rs 2Cr and promotion for her splendid performance at #TokyoOlympics2020. #Cheer4India”.

Chanu met Vaishnaw at the Railway Ministry here.

Chanu, who won the silver medal in the 49kg category on Saturday to open India’s medals tally at the Olympic Games, arrived back home on Monday to a rousing reception with chants of “Bharat Mata ki Jai”.

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Worked with coaches, Jayant Yadav to return to form: Yuzvendra Chahal




India leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who on Sunday night kept the Sri Lankan innings in check in the middle-overs, has kept his place in the Indian team intact even as Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav, with whom he had helped India win matches in the past, has faded away.

The 31-year-old, who took one for 19 in four overs, has however not been in the best of form in recent times for India but was happy as he managed to do the job he was known for — control the opposition in middle overs.

“My job is to control the middle-overs and I was very happy I did that and I just backed myself. There has been nothing on my mind. I back myself to control middle overs. That is all,” said Chahal to the media during a virtual interaction on Sunday night.

Chahal said that the emergence of spin bowling options doesn’t worry him as India finalise their final squad for the T20 World Cup. India are carrying as many as six spinners to Sri Lanka. One of those, Varun Chakravarthy, made his international debut on Sunday.

“If the bench strength is so good, and you have a strong players’ pool, the quality comes. If you talk of spinners, they are all doing good and you know you have players behind you who are already ready, having performed in IPL and here,” added Chahal.

“My focus is on my performance. Whenever I play, I should perform. If you perform, then only you play. If you don’t perform, whoever it is, you can’t stay in the team. So I mostly don’t think [about competition]. Whatever is in my mind — my goal — I focus on that only,” he said further.

The leggie’s performance dipped in the time leading up to lockdown even though he has been a regular member of the squad.

The way he mesmerised the South Africans during the 2018 tour of that country was past.

“When it was lockdown, I talked to coaches. I didn’t have to focus on much. I just had to focus on line, whether I have to go wider or bowl stump-to-stump, so I sat with [Bharat] Arun sir, Paras [Mhambrey] sir. What am I missing? Then I backed myself,” he added.

“I practiced with Jayant Yadav, we have known each other since childhood, so I spoke to him too. I bowled to him as well. So things started from there. The more I am confident in bowling, the better I will be able to bowl.”

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Olympics: Saurabh Chaudhary flatters to deceive, finishes 7th in 10m air pistol




There was heartbreak for Indian 10m air pistol shooter Saurabh Chaudhary , who despite emerging on top in the qualification round earlier on Saturday, finished seventh as the country suffered its biggest setback in the shooting arena on Saturday.

The 19-year-old Chaudhary, who had given enough indication that he was in great form to finish on the podium when he shot 586 to go into the finals as the leader, was the second shooter to be eliminated from among the eight finalists, finishing seventh.

Chaudhary got things rolling with a 10.1 in the finals, but he finished at the bottom of the pile after the first five shots with a score of 47.7. After 10 shots, the Meerut-born marksman had moved to seventh and was only 0.3 points behind sixth-placed Christian Reitz of Germany.

Tied at 107.0 after the first elimination shot, Chaudhary managed to stay on with 117.2 points, even as South Korea’s Korea’s Kim Mose was the first to get eliminated (115.8 points).

Before the next shot, China’s Zhang Bowen had a 0.3 point deficit, but walking into the deciding shot Saurabh registered a poor 9.6 to Zhang’s 10.2 and became the second marksman in the finals to get eliminated.

Earlier, the Indian ace had come up with superb marksmanship, topping the qualification round.

The Meerut boy shot 586 to be tied with Chinese Bowen Zhang after qualification, but as the Indian had more ‘inner 10s’ (27) to his name, he took the first spot going into the finals.

The other Indian in the fray, Abhishek Verma, was in the reckoning for a place in the finals. But he shot two 9s followed by two 8s in his last four shots, which meant that he finished 17th with a score of 575.

The 19-year-old Chaudhary started off with five shots of 10, leading the competition early. But it was followed by five shots of nine to end the first series with 95. In the second and third series, he had scores of 98 each.

The fourth series was stellar for him, getting perfect 10s in all the ten shots.

Chaudhary had 43 shots of 10s till shooting a nine on the second-last shot of the fifth series, ending with 98. In the final series, he started off with six 10s followed by three 9s and ending with a 10.

The 31-year-old Verma had an iffy start with 94 in the first series. He was able to overcome it by shooting 96 and 98 in the second and third series respectively. A 97 in the fourth series and 98 in five propelled him to reach inside the top-eight.

Verma looked set to join Chaudhary in the finals till the final series, but the meltdown in the final four shots caused the former’s downfall.

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