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New Delhi: Final figures from Myanmar polls reveal that not a single Muslim candidate was elected in the country’s first democratic election. All the current Muslim representatives lost and new candidates were not elected.

Reportedly, Muslims were a target of hatred in the lead up to the polls.

Even the Union Election Commission of Myanmar barred several Muslim candidates questioning their citizenship. The extremist pro-Buddhist faction in the country has always alleged that the Muslims were citizens of neighbouring Bangladesh.

“Of the 6,074 approved candidates, 5,130 are Buddhist, 903 Christian and just 28, or 0.5%, are Muslim, a sliver of the percentage of Muslims in the general population,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“This is only partly due to discriminatory decisions by the [commission]. The main parties have also shown extreme bias to stave off criticism from the racist and Buddhist nationalist Ma Ba Tha,” she added.

The ruling Union Solidarity and Development party fielded no Muslim candidates. Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) also relented under pressure from Ma Ba Tha and barred Muslims from contesting in the polls.

Rights violation has always been a blot for Myanmar. With the Rohingyas getting cornered in the western Rakhine state and atrocities against them escalating, they would hope for better days under Suu Kyi.

However, Kyi urged media not to exaggerate the situation. The dynamic leader has pledged to ensure rights for the Rohingyas though ‘Muslim rights’ was not in her priority list during her poll campaign.

Meanwhile, international election watchdogs from the European Union said the election was “well-run” but expressed unease over the disenfranchisement of Muslims. But they expressed hope that the new government will address the issue of religious extremism.

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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.