|Thursday, May 4, 2000,
to Punjab in Harpreet case
may hit Punjab
31.70 lakh fake currency seized
scam: DIG's proposal rejected
Gandhi case convict released
of DCC president revoked
work fails to take off
grants ST exemption
over case against sant, doc
decry statements of bodys ex-chief
latrines for weaker sections
gave fake certificates
set for record wheat
Notice to Punjab in Harpreet
CHANDIGARH, May 3 On an application for impounding the passports of SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaurs younger daughter and of two other respondents in Harpreet Kaur alleged murder case, Mr. Justice T.H.B. Chalapathi of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice to the Punjabs Public Prosecutor for May 15.
Expressing apprehension regarding the respondents fleeing from the country, Hapreet Kaurs husband, Kamaljit Singh, stated that the three, including Dalvinder Kaur Desi and Paramjit Singh Raipur, were very important links in the chain of events.
The petitioner also stated that the entire case would come to a standstill if these respondents escaped from the clutches of law. He added that as per his information the three were frequent visitors to foreign countries and were making frantic efforts to go abroad.
Claiming to be in hiding, Mr Kamaljit Singh stated that he had asked his sister, Manjit Kaur, to go underground after she received threats on the telephone. Several women had also abused his sister after visiting his house.
Counsel also stated on the petitioners behalf that government machinery, it was learnt from enquires, was being used to pressure some doctors at Phagwara to back-date Harpreet Kaurs case at the CMC Ludhiana, for food poisoning treatment.
Seeking directions for registering a case against all those found responsible for causing the death of Harpreet Kaur and her child, Mr Kamaljit Singh had earlier asked for handing over the probe to an independent agency like the CBI. Directions to fix responsibility on persons involved in the disappearance of evidence had also been sought.
He had also alleged that
on account of political power and influence wielded by
Bibi Jagir Kaur, the case relating to Harpreet Kaur and
her child would be hushed up and all those responsible
for the same would not be touched. He had further added
that the facts and circumstances clearly indicated
that efforts were being made to hush up the case.
Harpreet case: medical
PHAGWARA, May 3 The police authorities went about procuring certificates from local private doctors and hospitals showing that Harpreet Kaur, the deceased daughter of the SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, was not treated in any of these hospitals before her death.
The one-day exercise according to sources, was launched by the police on Sunday. A team of police officials in mufti, led by a sub-inspector of the city police station here established contacts with doctors and hospitals and got certificates from them that Harpreet Kaur had not been treated at any of these hospitals before her death on April 21.
Even as doctors failed to identify the two police officials who had come to them for making enquiries many are unable to understand the motive of the enquiry.
A local police official said on the condition of anonymity that the entire exercise was just aimed at confirming the statements of Harpreets suspected paramour Kamaljit that she had been getting treatment and had even given birth to a child in a local hospital, situated near the house of Dalwinder Kaur Raipur, sister-in-law of a close confidant of Bibi Jagir Kaur in Joginder Nagar here.
The police officials procured a detailed list of doctors and clinics in the city from a medical practitioner and they went to contact the doctors. So much so they did not even spare orthopaedics and ophthalmologists.
Similar certificates were also secured from about 20 nurses and midwives working in different private nursing homes also confirmed one of the doctors on condition of anonymity and saying, We dont know for what purpose the police is busy getting such certificates as they did not tell anything while taking certificates from us, confided another doctor.
Dr Satnam Singh Parmar, the president of the local unit of the Indian Medical Association, confirmed that a team of police officials had visited different hospitals on Sunday. One of the team members had identified himself to be from the crime branch of the Punjab Police from Chandigarh while the other said he belonged to the Jalandhar police.
Kanwaljits hint to Bibi
PATIALA, May 3 For the first time since the death of SGPC President Jagir Kaurs daughter in mysterious circumstances, the SAD General Secretary and Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, today admitted that the incident had attracted adverse publicity for the party. He said the issue would be debated at an appropriate party forum objectively.
Talking to mediapersons here today after the installation of veteran Akali leader, Jathedar Manmohan Singh Bajaj, as Chairman of the Patiala Improvement Trust, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said he could not state whether the party would come out unscathed from the controversy and termed it as an unfortunate incident.
In a hint to the SGPC President, the Finance Minister said it should be the party endeavour to keep the SGPC out of such controversies. He said every post in the SGPC was important and should be treated as such.
He, however, refused to explain further, saying it would not be appropriate to comment as the court was seized of the matter.
Capt Kanwaljit Singh said the matter would be discussed objectively at an appropriate party forum either at an informal meeting of senior leaders or by the partys Parliamentary Affairs Committee. He said the meeting would be held very soon.
Asked whether the controversy surrounding Bibi Jagir Kaur would weaken in party, he said the government was not under any threat. He said the party was numerically strong and the rebels did not number more than 14. He said there was no question of the alliance with the BJP weakening.
Speaking about the recent criticism of the Infrastructure Development Board, he said there was some misunderstanding regarding its functioning. He said the board had been constituted to facilitate private participation on infrastructure projects.
Only those projects
would be taken by the board which had been referred to it
by the Public Works Department. He said the role of any
department would not be undermined by the board and the
Infrastructure Board would only act as a facilitator. The
board would have the necessary expertise and financial
resources to carry forward major projects, particularly
five road links which were to be four-laned, the minister
Drought may hit Punjab
LUDHIANA, May 3 Punjab too could face drought if rains dont come soon. Slow melting of snow in the mountains and inadequate winter rains, not much water has flown into the reservoirs of Bhakra and Pong dams. This has not replenished drinking water and irrigation supply sources and affected the generation of hydro-electricity.
In the Sirhind canal circle, the elevation level in both the Bhakra dam and Pong dam have fallen to an all time low-barely short of the minimum level. The elevation in the Bhakra dam today was 1492.46 feet as compared to 1534.86 feet last year. The minimum level required for power generation is 1440 feet.
Similarly, the elevation level in the Pong dam today was 1312.16 feet as compared to 1324.51 feet on this day last year. The lowest level, beyond which power cannot be generated is 1260 feet.
Sources in the Irrigation Department point out that this kind of a dry pattern is being experienced after a gap of more than 15 years. The water inflow in the Bhakra dam this year is a mere 11,000 cusecs as compared 18,000 to 20,000 cusecs inflow in the dam the same time last year. Even in the Pong dam, the inflow is of the order of 1700 to 1800 cusecs.
However, because of the high outflow of water from the reservoirs of the two dams (17,369 cusecs from the Bhakra dam and 11,800 cusecs from the Pong dam), the water levels in the two dams are decreasing rapidly. Sources inform that the depletion in water level in the Bhakra dam is one foot per day and around eight inches in the Pong dam per day.
This has also resulted in inflow releases of water into the Sirhind canal system where only 7,350 cusecs of water is being released as compared to the indent of 8,550 cusecs. Incidentally, because the state Agriculture Department, upon the recommendations of Punjab Agricultural University, has advised farmers for the early sowing of cotton crop (between April 20 to May 20). As a result the indent along the Bathinda branch canal 2290 cusecs, which caters to the cotton growing areas, is being fulfilled.
However, this is not the case for the Abohar branch (with indent of 2840 cusecs and release of 2640 cusecs) and the Patiala first feeder of the Sirhind canal system (indent is 3200 cusecs and water released is 1530 cusecs).
However, sources inform, that this preference order was likely to change from May 6 onwards when the indent of the Patiala first feeder would be met and less water would be released in the Bathinda branch canal. The full indent of the other branches in the Sirhind canal system would be met in the first week of June.
It is learnt that the power generation in the state from its own hydel resources was 3220.6 million units, with the availability of 90.2 per cent and from the common pool (Bhakra dam, Pong dam and the Beas Sutlej project) was 4450.3 MU with availability of 98.5 per cent.
Other than this, the state had also purchased 1703.5 MU of electricity from the national hydro power projects of Barasul, Salal, Tanakpur, Chamera and Uri last year. Other than this, more than 4000 MU of power was also purchased from the National Thermal Power Corporation, various gas and atomic thermal plants and state of Jammu and Kashmir during the peak load period.
Sources in the PSEB
inform that in spite of the fact that the power
availability from the three thermal power projects (Guru
Nanak Dev thermal project, Bathinda, Guru Gobind Singh
super thermal project, Ropar and Guru Hargobind thermal
project, Lehra Mohabbat) had been 104.8 per cent of the
target of 13831.1 MU during 1999-2000, the power purchase
would have to be increased if the hydel power generation
were to continue to fall.
Rs 31.70 lakh fake currency
KAPURTHALA, May 3 The police here claims to have busted an International gang of smugglers involved in supplying fake Indian currency from across the border in India with the arrest of two members of the gang today morning according to Dr G.S. Aujla Inspector-General, Punjab Police, Jalandhar range.
At a press conference addressed by Dr Aujla and SSP Mr Iqbal Singh at local Civil Rest House, they said that Indian fake currency of the denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 100 and worth Rs 31.70 lakh had been recovered from the two arrested persons identified as Simerjit Singh son of Hardip Singh and Vinod Kumar son of Parshotam Dass both residents of Attari village of Gharinda police station of Amritsar district.
They told that the fake currency had been thrown from across the Border from the barbed wires in Amritsar region from International kingpin Bhola supposed to be a Pakistani national and came to the hands of Simerjit Singh and Vinod Kumar who were working as carrier for the gang for passing on to other hands which ultimately was to reach near a place of Jama Masjid, New Delhi from where it was to be circulated in the country.
The police on a tip-off set up a naka near Taj Pur village on Subhanpur-Nadala road last night and at 4 p.m. the police party noticed a blue Tata Sumo bearing with registration No UP-14-J-4534 coming from Nadala side and was signalled to stop but on seeing the police the person who was driving the Sumo slowed down the vehicle 50 yards short of police naka and started firing with his revolver on the police which also returned up fire. Upon this the driver of the Sumo turned back to Nadala village and sped off. The police party chased the Tata Sumo for 3 km where the driver of the vehicle lost control resulting in its overturning near Lakhan Kalan village and police party overpowered them. On search .32 bore revolver with three empty cartridges and a bag containing fake currency notes worth Rs 2 lakh of the denomination of Rs 500 were recovered from Simarjit Singh and on the search of Vinod Kumar fake currency worth Rs 11.70 lakhs of the denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 100 notes were recovered from him.
On interrogation they revealed that this was their second consignment of fake currency notes from across the border and earlier they received a consignment of fake currency worth Rs 7 lakh upon which they received a commission of Rs 56,000 from the smugglers.
Land scam: DIG's proposal rejected
JALANDHAR, May 3 (PTI) In an astonishing revelation in the multi-crore 84-acre land scam at Fazalpur village, it has now come to light that the dig who had carried out a probe in the case on the orders of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had made a key recommendation in October 1998 that a senior revenue officer be tasked to look into execution of the sale deed and mutation but this was yet to be done.
Senior Superintendent of Police Gaurav Yadav said dig Suresh Arora, in his enquiry report submitted on October 15, 1998, had not only established that an attempt was indeed made to grab the land in an illegal manner two years earlier but had also recommended a probe by a senior revenue officer into sale deed registration and mutation.
However, the district administration, even 18 months after the receipt of the report, has yet to take any action.
Meanwhile, one of the main complainants, Dalbir Singh, was killed last Sunday inside the police post at Maqsoodan allegedly by Karnail Singh Dhillon, who had been named in the fir lodged in 1998. Dhillon was arrested by the police.
"The matter has been taken up with the Deputy Commissioner for deputing an officer not below the rank of the SDM for looking into the entire revenue aspect of the case. The Deputy Commissioner has also been requested for expediting the proceedings under Sections 145 of the CrPC, the SSP said in a written statement.
While he gave no reason as to why no officer was deputed despite the seriousness of the case, the Deputy Commissioner remained unavailable and his office did not return the calls.
After a bid in 1998 to grab the land belonging to a temple, the administration had appointed a receiver under Section 145 of the CrPC. The Chief Minister had ordered an inquiry by the DIG who submitted the report but it was never made public.
The murder last Sunday has again brought the matter into sharp media focus. The police acted swiftly and suspended the officer in charge of the police post for reportedly playing a mala fide role besides ordering supervision of the probe by Superintendent of Police Amit Parsad.
The SSP said the aspect regarding connivance of some police officials was also being probed into.
Earlier, another police official Harjinder Singh, the then SHO of the Sadar police station was suspended following a recommendation of the dig known for his no-nonsense approach.
The SSP took pains to
stress that the revolver recovered from Karnail Singh
Dhillon, which was used in the murder of Dalbir, was
purchased by him after the registration of an earlier fir
when he was asked to deposit all weapons.
Rajiv Gandhi case convict released
SANGRUR, May 3 (PTI) Karamjit Singh sentenced to life imprisonment in the case of attempt to assassinate the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, was released from the District Jail here this evening, jail source said here.
Karamjit Singh, resident of Sunam in this district, was arrested while making attempt on the life of Rajiv Gandhi during his visit to the samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi on the later'S martyrdom day on January 30, 1986.
The convict was undergoing jail term under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC and TADA as ordered by a designated Delhi Court.
He was transferred to the District Jail here in September 1995 from Delhis Tihar jail.
SHSAD stir today
AMRITSAR, May 3 The Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) would launch its Badal bhajao, Punjab bachao (oust Badal, save Punjab) from tomorrow.
Earlier this movement was scheduled for May 1 which had to be postponed to May 4 due to unavoidable reasons.
Suspension of DCC president revoked
CHANDIGARH, May 3 The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee has decided to revoke the suspension of Mr Gurbir Singh Sandhu, former President of the District Congress Committee, Ferozepore, and restore his primary membership of the party.
Census work fails to take off
PATIALA, May 3 The first day of census duty could not be held in the city as a few hundred government teachers who had come to the Municipal Corporation office today to protest against the alleged ineptitude of the corporation in allotting them duties got charged following a heated exchange with corporation officers. There was also a scuffle in which one teacher was injured.
Following this, the teachers marched in a procession to the office of the Deputy Commissioner and handed over a memorandum to the Additional Deputy Commissioner R S Randhwa, demanding the arrest of Corporation Executive Officer G S Punia who, they charged, had directed class IV employees of the corporation to assault them. The teachers also submitted a complaint in this regard to the Kotwali police station but a first information report had not been registered till the evening.
Teachers decided to boycott classes tomorrow and not to report for census duty. They decided to collect in front of the Deputy Commissioners office tomorrow to demand action against the Executive Officer.
Talking to TNS, teachers said they had been coming to the corporation for the past five days to ascertain their duties but were not attended to by the officers concerned. They said today, when several hundred teachers gathered at the corporation office, they were not attended to. They added that when they expressed the desire to meet the Corporation Commissioner K S Kang, they were not allowed to meet him. They alleged that the Executive Officer came out but spoke rudely to them.
When they objected, the Executive Officer directed other employees to assault them, following which Mr Ramesh Sethi, president, higher qualified teachers union, received injuries on his face and head, they complained. They said though the Corporation Commissioner had regretted the turn of events, the Executive Officer remained unrepentant.
The teachers alleged that the corporation had not coordinated with the District Education Officer in assigning them duties. Showing TNS the duty slips given to them, they said they had not been assigned any specific area due to which they dId not know from where to start census duty. They also charged that the corporation did not heed their request to assign them duties close to their houses.
Corporation Commissioner K S Kang said he was holding a meeting with corporation officers to consider the request of the teachers to assign them duties close to their houses when they started slogan shouting. He said he had sent his Executive Officer to ascertain the matter and that the teachers misbehaved with him and snatched his dairy.
He said following this, he did not know what happened. I do not know with whom they scuffled, he said. He regretted the incident when he came to know of it but teachers insisted on sitting on dharna, following which the police was called.
Mr Kang felt that the
teachers wanted to duty either in their school or in the
survey. As regarding the duty slips which had not been
filled up, he said persons had been deputed for the job
in the corporation building. He said some teachers had
got their duties filled in today also. He added that
corporation was only considering applications for waiving
off census duty on medical grounds and was putting its
own persons on duty wherever there was absenteeism.
Punjab grants ST exemption
CHANDIGARH, May 3 Falling in line with the national policy, the Punjab Government today decided to grant sales tax exemption to those industrial units which had been getting this benefit under the 1996 industrial policy. Those which had gone into production on or before April 30 would be entitled to avail sales tax exemption.
A press note issued by the government said units which were registered with the Department of Industries and Commerce, or purchased land for the project or submitted loan applications with any financial institution by April 30 would also be eligible for grant of sales tax exemption.
The press note added that information technology units covered in the information technology policy notified by the state government on March 15 or the units which were recommended by BUFR would also get the facility of sales tax exemption.
Those units which did not fall in any of these categories would not be entitled to sales tax exemption.
The press note clarified that investment incentive (capital subsidy) would continue for all small-scale units as before.
Protest over case against sant,
LUDHIANA, May 3 The all-party action committee, Sahnewal, today staged a massive dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioners office in protest against the alleged false case registered against a dera head and doctor on the charge of rape.
Last month, the Sahnewal police had registered a case of rape against Sant Deedar Singh of Dera Swami Bhola Ram Lok Seva Ashram and Dr L.D. Joshi.
However, the people residing in the nearby areas had formed an all party action committee, alleging that the accused were being framed by a close relative of an Akali minister, who was trying to usurp the dera land.
Today, workers from various political parties like the SHSAD, BSP, CPI, CPM and BJP staged a dharna and demanded that an inquiry be done into the episode and the rape charges against the sant and the doctor be withdrawn.
They later submitted a memorandum to the Punjab Governor through the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, and demanded that an independent inquiry be conducted into the incident and the land mafia in the city be exposed.
Among those who spoke
were Mr Tarsem Jodha, former CPM leader, Mr Gulzar Goria
of the CPI, Mr Ravinder Kapila of the CPM, Mr Hira Singh
Gabria, MLA, Mr Baljinder Singh of the SHSAD and Mr
Baldev Pathak of the BJP.
Vets decry statements of bodys ex-chief
PATIALA, May 3 The Punjab Veterinary Officers Associations Executive Committee at a meeting chaired by President, Dr Ashok Sharma here resolved to decry the unethical, non-professional and irresponsible statement made out of frustration by the Ex-president of the Association, Dr Gurcharan Singh Chahal. The meeting felt that Dr Chahal had been making confrontationist statements against higher officials of the department.
The meeting was of the view that whenever the cadre tried to achieve some success in professional goals, Dr Chahal tried to make such statements and makes cadre suffer a lot. The department needed more medicines and equipments and the demands could not be met due to shortage of funds, then, how come the equipments can be surplus in the department.
The association hailed the efforts made by Dr Rattan Singh, Minister, Animal Husbandry , Punjab, in getting more schemes sanctioned from the Union Government to meet current demands for the state and also for his services, for giving clean administration to the Veterinary Officers. Dr Ashok Sharma appealed to the ex-president not to make such irresponsible statements.
Flush latrines for weaker
PATIALA, May 3 In a new initiative the Punjab Government has coupled the rural sanitation scheme as well as the employment assurance scheme in the state to ensure more than 1.25 lakh people can be provided modern flush latrines .
While the state government has received Rs 60 crore from the centre for the rural sanitation project, it has received Rs 8 crore for the first quarter to implement the employment assurance scheme . The aim of the government is to start both schemes jointly so that maximum employment can be given in rural areas to ensure the rural sanitation scheme is speeded up .
While the rural sanitation scheme provides for the beneficiaries to put in Rs 500 for construction of a flush latrine with a subsidy quotient of Rs 3,000 being spent by the government, now with the coupling of the both schemes beneficiaries can put in their bit by way of labour .
A high-level review meeting of the scheme has already been held and it is likely to be started soon . Finance Minister Kanwaljit Singh, when contacted, told TNS that though detailed guidelines of the scheme were being made , its thrust would be on providing the hygiene facilities to the Scheduled Castes. He said the scheme would be evenly distributed in the entire state and the flush units allocated to each block according to its population .
He, however, said once a particular village was chosen under the scheme, flush latrines would be provided in all houses of the weaker sections and there would not be any pick and choose as the focus of the scheme was to cover maximum households.
Capt Kanwaljit said the scheme would be implemented by making committees at the village level . He said this was being done to ensure there was maximum public participation in the scheme and also because the village panchayat or elders could persuade everyone to contribute labour to make the scheme a success. He said he was hopeful that it would possible to cross the target of 1.25 lakh flush latrines set for this year.
He said the government had also received an assurance from the Centre that if it was able to expend Rs 8 crore given to it under the employment assurance scheme a similar grant would be given to it again if the state government contribution 25 per cent of the resources . He said this would ensure that the impetus of the Rural Sanitation scheme was maintained.
The scheme will be
executed through the Welfare Department and the target
houses who are to be provided flush latrines will be
identified by the Rural Development Department. The
overall charge for implementation would remain with the
MALERKOTLA: Malerkotla town has about 500 small and big industrial units. This town is also famous for the vegetable productions. Consequently light, heavy vehicles and record number of bullock-carts ply on the roads and streets, making the movement of pedestrians difficult.
The local municipal council and the administration have not done much to check the haphazard flow of traffic. A few hoardings have been put up by the order of the Executive Officer of the Municipal council near the bus stand, schools and streets. The hoardings read No parking here. Go slow, School ahead, Plying bullock-carts, tractor-trailers strictly prohibited. The offenders violate such orders with impunity.
A well-known social worker Mrs Mamta Goyal, whose sister-in-law was crushed on the Stadium road by a speeding bus a few years back said that the then state minister had committed that steps would be taken to solve the traffic problems, but nothing has been done in this regard. Traffic problems, have become serious threatening security of the common man, particularly school-going children.
The local social
organisations have demanded that the traffic rules should
be implemented strictly. Residents of private colonies be
permitted to construct gates. Holding of public functions
in the bazaars, streets should be banned. Rehris,
rickshaws and stray animals are main factor which make
traffic problems serious.
Complainant gave fake
MANSA, May 3 The controversy over the selection of PTI teachers in this district in 1996 has taken a new turn with Mrs Bhupinder Kaur, District Education Officer (DEO), Secondary, alleging that complainant Jugraj Singh, who had raised a hue and cry over the selections, had submitted fake sports certificates at the time of interview.
In a press note issued here today, she pointed out that a complaint was made to her by Mr Bakhshish Singh of Anupgarh village regarding the false certificates by Mr Jugraj Singh. Mr Bakshish Singh had also requested her to register a case.
Punjab set for record wheat
CHANDIGARH, May 3 Punjab is all set to have a record procurement of wheat this summer. This would also mean some respite for the farmers who had been deep in debt and were suffering due to the growing agrarian crisis.
Food Department officials who had earlier estimated that the procurement would touch 80 lakh tonnes now claim that the total procurement by the time total arrivals are complete would not be less than 82 to 83 lakh tonnes.
Till yesterday, the wheat procurement agencies had procured 71.92 lakh tonnes. We are expecting the arrivals for the next 10 days or so. Yesterday the total arrival was 3,91,205 lakh tonnes. The quantum may vary and even decrease with each passing day. But this year will set a new record for the golden grain, Food Secretary, Mr P. Ram told TNS.
Reports from the mandis and seasonal purchasing centres indicated that the rates varied from Rs 580 to Rs 585 per quintal. Farmers are happy since it is on wheat that they make some profit. The cost of production being less and the weather being fine this rabi season, they are hoping to gather good profit and lessen their burden.
Centres policy this year to help the traders buy more wheat has had a limited success. The Union Government had announced a higher, Rs 900 per quintal as the issue price of wheat from the central pool. This was for the traders and flour mills. The Centre with a good buffer of over 120 lakh tonnes of wheat wanted the trade this year to purchase more wheat. Reports from Punjab indicated that till yesterday. The traders had purchased 1.58 lakh tonnes of wheat. Last year till the corresponding day, the traders had purchased only 52548 tonnes. This means one lakh tonne more. But the centre had calculated that the traders would at least buy 10 per cent of the total wheat arrivals.
Among the agencies, the
Food Department has purchased 6.79 lakh tonnes, Markfed
14.66 lakh tonnes, Punsup 12 lakh tonnes, the Punjab
Warehousing Corporation 10.63 lakh tonnes and the Punjab
Agro Industries Corporation another 6.14 lakh tonnes.
This comes to 71.6 per cent. the Food Corporation of
India, the central agency has procured about 20 per cent
tonnes, that is, 28.4 lakh tonnes and the rest was
purchased by the traders.
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