Friday, November 2, 2001, Chandigarh, India





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N A T I O N

No let-up in battle against terrorism: Vajpayee
New Delhi, November 1

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today assured that there would be no let-up in the battle against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and asserted that India was not guided or directed by any foreign country in its fight against scourge.

Resume talks, France advises India
New Delhi, November 1
France today dubbed the issue of Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism as “other issue” and advised India to resume dialogue with Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue “cool-mindedly”.
French Foreign Minister Mubert Vedrine and External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh
External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh and French Foreign Minister Mubert Vedrine at a joint Press conference in New Delhi on Thursday. — PTI photo




A landmark monument, the "Golghar" is showing signs of decay, with the local authorities doing nothing about its revival.
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National Capital Region--Delhi


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

 

Panel urges PM to meet US Sikhs
New Delhi, November 1
National Commission for Minorities Vice-Chairman Tarlochan Singh has urged Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to have an audience, during his visit to Washington next week, with prominent Sikh leaders, who came to the rescue of US Sikh when they were being attacked after the September 11 attacks in the USA.

Securitymen behind A-I stowaway incident?
New Delhi, November 1
The connivance of the security personnel is the cause of an unprecedented stowaway incident on Air India’s prestigious flight AI-111 on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday.

Coast Guard short on resources
Chennai
There is a seamy side to the seascape at the headquarters of the Coast Guard Region (East) here. It is the stench that wafts through the air. Close to the place is dead end of city sewerage as also stagnant backwater of the sea.

EARLIER STORIES

 


Potters face penury as traditional lamps replace electric lights during Divali.

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BJP to take on MP Lokayukta
Bhopal, November 1
The BJP has decided to take on the Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta, Justice Faizanuddin. It has not ruled out moving contempt of court proceedings against him.

7 Race Course temporary abode, says PM
New Delhi, November 1
The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, today struck a philosophical note on his holding the high office saying that the 7 Race Course Road residence in which he resides was a temporary abode.

IMW serial again comes to HC’s aid
“India’s Most Wanted” has proved to be a useful instrument of the judiciary yet again with the arrest of Punit Singh of the Okara Group of Companies by the economic offences wing of the Delhi police.

HC reserves orders in Tansi cases
Chennai, November 1

The Madras High Court today reserved its orders on appeals filed by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha and others against their convictions in two Tansi land deal cases, the outcome of which could well decide the course of the AIADMK supremo’s political future.

Bollywood star Chunkey Pandey
Bollywood star Chunkey Pandey arrives at the Sessions Court in Mumbai on Thursday. — Reuters photo

Chunkey Pandey turns hostile in Gulshan case                                                               
Mumbai, November 1
Film actor Chunkey Pandey, a key witness in Gulshan Kumar murder case, today turned hostile in the trial court following which two other Bollywood stars, Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, were discharged by the prosecution. In response to summons issued by Sessions Judge M. L. Tahilyani, Pandey and Salman Khan appeared before him to tender evidence.

Meghalaya Power Minister resigns
Shillong, November 1

The 19-month-old E.K. Mawlong Government in Meghalaya received a major jolt with the resignation of state Power Minister Martel Mukhim last night over the controversial Meghalaya House deal in Kolkata. 

Book on A.S. Anand released
New Delhi, November 1
Munisha Gandhi, an advocate practising in the Punjab and Haryana High Court made her father, Justice A.S. Anand’s 65th birthday and the last day as the Chief Justice of India extraordinary and memorable with the release of a compilation of his letters, speeches and landmark judgements. 

2 IMA cadets, instructor killed at firing range
Dehra Dun, November 1
Gentlemen Cadets Aman Gupta and Rajesh Lalotra and Instructor Hav Bhola Singh of the Indian Military Academy (IMA) were killed today at the field firing range in the Asan barrage when a shell burst within the barrel of the mortar they were firing.

Cong notice to Sultan Singh
New Delhi, November 1
The Congress high command has issued a show-cause notice to senior party leader Mr Sultan Singh over his alleged anti-party activities.


Noted flute maestro Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia along with his disciple Shuchismita Chatterjee perform at the concluding function of "Virasat-2001" at IIT Guwahati on Wednesday. — PTI

Malegaon peaceful, NCP seeks probe
Mumbai, November 1
The situation in the powerloom town of Malegaon and adjoining villages, rocked by widespread violence and arson, remained peaceful today even as the NCP, a key partner of the ruling coalition in Maharashtra, demanded a judicial probe into the incident.

Miss India UK
New Delhi, November 1

Parveen Sian (25) from London, has been crowned Miss India UK. “I am looking forward to representing the UK in the worldwide finals in March, 2002, in the USA,” a British High Commission, statement today quoted Parveen as having said in Coalville, Leicestershire, where the finals were held.
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No let-up in battle against terrorism: Vajpayee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 1
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today assured that there would be no let-up in the battle against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and asserted that India was not guided or directed by any foreign country in its fight against scourge.

“Recently we celebrated Dusehra. Ravana was burnt and Meghnad and Kumbhkarna fell in eternal sleep, only to wake up next year. But terrorism guided against us is still on and we will continue our fight against it. This is the battle of the entire society,” Mr Vajpayee said addressing members of the Valmiki community on Valmiki Jayanti at his residence.

Stating that the country was passing through a difficult phase, Mr Vajpayee said the need of the hour was to face terrorism unitedly as the menace did not see any boundary, caste or creed and thrived on blood of innocent people.

“The government is fighting terrorism but it has to be a collective effort by society”, he said amid shouts from the gathering “Atalji sangrash karo, hum tumahre saath hain” (You launch the struggle, we are with you).

Mr Vajpayee said India wanted peace so that it could concentrate energies on social development and improvement of people’s condition.

“A great deal had been done but still much more needed to be done for the welfare of the downtrodden, particularly the Valmiki samaj which still indulged in human scavenging in many parts of the country,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the government had taken several measures for the uplift of the weaker sections of society and even amended the Constitution for job reservation.

However, he said the Supreme Court ruling had placed some difficulty before the government on the job reservation issue.

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Resume talks, France advises India
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 1
France today dubbed the issue of Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism as “other issue” and advised India to resume dialogue with Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue “cool-mindedly”.

The differences between the French and Indian perceptions on the major Indian concern of Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism came to the fore today during the visit of French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine. He advised New Delhi to resume the dialogue process with Islamabad to resolve the Kashmir issue and sought to downplay the problem of Pakistan’s export of terrorism by saying that “other issues” should not deteriorate the current situation in the Indian subcontinent.

External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, however, reiterated the government’s stand that in Jammu and Kashmir the main problem was that of Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism, while the chief problem in Afghanistan was it had over the years become a base for terrorist activities.

Mr Vedrine held a joint news conference with Mr Jaswant Singh at Hyderabad House after their hour-long talks and later addressed a separate news conference at the French Embassy. Mr Jaswant Singh was not present during Mr Vedrine’s news conference at the French Embassy.

While justifying the USA’s ongoing military action in Afghanistan as “legitimate”, the French Foreign Minister said, “We should focus on the political settlement in Afghanistan after the military action is over.” In the same breath he said the important thing was that “nothing should deteriorate other issues” between India and Pakistan, an obvious reference to Indian concerns about Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism.

The French minister said his country was willing to help resolve the Kashmir issue but hastily added that New Delhi had not asked for help from Paris.
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Panel urges PM to meet US Sikhs
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 1
National Commission for Minorities Vice-Chairman Tarlochan Singh has urged Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to have an audience, during his visit to Washington next week, with prominent Sikh leaders, who came to the rescue of US Sikh when they were being attacked after the September 11 attacks in the USA.

“They (the Sikh leaders in the USA) can explain to you how much they suffered after the terrorists attack in the USA,” he said in a letter to Mr Vajpayee today.

He also hailed the Prime Minister for interpreting the meaning of ‘karha’ in such a fine way yesterday while addressing the gathering at Som Nath.

“I wonder whether even our Sikh missionaries have ever been able to put it so beautifully why Sikhs (both men and women) wear ‘karha’,” he said adding that I have spoken to a large number of Sikh intelligentsia and they are all praise for you for this wonderful description on such a historic occasion.
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Securitymen behind A-I stowaway incident?
K.R. Wadhwaney

New Delhi, November 1
The connivance of the security personnel is the cause of an unprecedented stowaway incident on Air India’s prestigious flight AI-111 on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday.

The Home Ministry is conducting an independent probe into the incident that occurred on the eve of the commencement of the aviation security week. The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) is making its own investigations.

Only 54 of the 56 passengers holding Mumbai-Delhi tickets disembarked at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. Air India’s Commercial Wing at the airport immediately decided to off-load all transit passengers.

The tickets and other relevant documents of all 67, including first class passengers, were checked and rechecked in the transit lounge. Among them were three low-profile passengers. Their tickets and documents were not only checked by AI staff but also by security and immigration officials.

The empty aircraft, was subjected to physical check by a team of six security personnels. The mystry of two passengers remained.

Air India staff checked tickets and documents of the joining passengers. All names were tallied with passenger-manifest. The TRIM Sheet, the most important document, was also examined.

After undertaking this exercise and completing other formalities, Air India’s Duty Manager obtained clearance from the security authorities before the aircraft took off. Why did security clear the aircraft when two ‘missing’ passengers could not be located?

According to the Heathrow Airport immigration authorities, four passengers, who arrived by AI flight, have asked for political asylum. They are said to have travelled to London on forged documents. Two of them were scheduled for Lagos (Nigeria). 
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Coast Guard short on resources
P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chennai
There is a seamy side to the seascape at the headquarters of the Coast Guard Region (East) here. It is the stench that wafts through the air. Close to the place is dead end of city sewerage as also stagnant backwater of the sea.

Employees of the Coast Guard living here have resigned to their fate and, perhaps, have become immune to the polluted air they breath, while, protecting and preserving marine environment, one of the tasks assigned to the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard is the youngest armed force of the Union that came into being on February 1, 1977. It was constituted with the enactment of the Coast Guard Act, 1978, on August 18, 1978.

The force is manning 14,000 nautical miles of India’s coastline in the three regions — West, East and Andaman and Nicobar. In spite of its limited resources and in the absence of an intelligence wing, the force has been able to make its presence felt, particularly, in rescuing fishermen, who get caught in sea storms or cross the maritime boundary. Nearly 250 cases are reported every year.

There have also been incidents of Sri Lankan Navy firing at fishermen. Now the Tamil Nadu Government proposes to install buoys along the maritime boundary with Sri Lanka to warn and ward off erring fishermen from straying into “foreign waters”.

The Coast Guard seizures include illegal trawlers bearing flags of different countries. Which is quite common. Its surveillance and monitoring include safety and security of off-shore instalments and islands, besides assisting other wings of the enforcement agencies in searching sea vessels. India has a 220 nautical mile economic zone in the East.

Assistant Commander Gaurav Tyagi told the TNS that the induction of six hover aircraft would go a long way to improve the force. The number of the Coast Guard officers, men and civilians is around 7,000. The stock of advanced off-shore patrol vessels, fast patrol vessels, in-shore patrol vessels, seaward defence boats, interceptor boats, coastal surveillance aircraft and helicopters all need to be replenished.

The Coast Guard has to be developed and expanded on scientific lines, corresponding to the latest technologies. The new Director-General of the Coast Guard, Vice-Admiral Om Parkash Bansal, has hinted at a new perspective plan to augment the force. One of the projects is to establish a link with the Global Maritime Distress Search and Service Satellite. 
Top

 

BJP to take on MP Lokayukta
N.D. Sharma

Bhopal, November 1
The BJP has decided to take on the Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta, Justice Faizanuddin. It has not ruled out moving contempt of court proceedings against him.

The party’s National Vice-President, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, appeared before the Lokayukta yesterday in response to the latter’s two notices to him and sought time, which he was granted, till November 9 for giving the party’s reply after due consideration. The case relates to the alleged payoffs by Som Distilleries to Chief Minister Digvijay Singh for certain favours.

Mr Khurana said he had full faith in the institution of Lokayukta. But Justice Faizanuddin was trying to turn the Som Distilleries case into “Lokayukta versus the BJP” where Mr Digvijay Singh would be an onlooker. He said the BJP would not permit it.

One of the notices issued by the Lokayukta to Mr Khurana is to furnish evidence, if he has any, to substantiate the allegation that Mr Digvijay Singh had really been paid hush money by Som Distilleries. The second notice charges Mr Khurana with committing contempt of court by making unsavoury allegations against Justice Faizanuddin. (Mr Khurana, who is in charge of party affairs of Madhya Pradesh, had said — first at a public meeting and then at a press conference — that Justice Faizanuddin was behaving like an agent of Mr Digvijay Singh.)

On the first notice, Mr Khurana submitted to the Lokayukta that “no useful purpose will be served in giving any evidence before this hon’ble authority” since the “learned Lokayukta had, in his press statement published in various newspapers on August 31 given a certificate of innocence to the Chief Minister of the State of MP by going on record to state that in the material seized from the Som Distilleries there is no mention of Shri Digvijay Singh.

On the second notice, Mr Khurana told mediapersons later, the BJP was yet to decide its strategy. The options under consideration were whether to challenge the provision of contempt in the MP Lokayukta and Up-Lokayukta Act or submit a reply to the notice. The party would also take a decision on whether to move contempt proceedings against Justice Faizanuddin as the “real contempt” had been committed by him, by publicly giving a certificate of innocence to Chief Minister Digvijay Singh. The Lokayukta, a judicial authority, was bound by the oath of secrecy and “should not have said anything before completing the inquiry”, he said.

Asked if he would seek transfer of the Som Distillery payoff investigation to some other authority in view of his doubts about the integrity of Justice Faizanuddin, Mr Khurana said this was also a part of the “strategy” that the BJP had chalked out in the matter.
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7 Race Course temporary abode, says PM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 1
The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, today struck a philosophical note on his holding the high office saying that the 7 Race Course Road residence in which he resides was a temporary abode.

“Yeh makan kirai ka makan hai. Jab meri Parliament ki memberi khatam ho jayegi, toh yeh makan bhi chala jayega (This house in which I live, is a rented house which will go away when I cease to be a MP,” Mr Vajpayee said while addressing a gathering of people at his residence on the occasion of Valmiki Jayanti.

Wherever I live, I would continue to work for the welfare of the poor and downtrodden, he said amidst thunderous applause.
Top

 

IMW serial again comes to HC’s aid
Tribune News Service

“India’s Most Wanted” (IMW) has proved to be a useful instrument of the judiciary yet again with the arrest of Punit Singh of the Okara Group of Companies by the economic offences wing of the Delhi police. The Delhi High Court Bench consisting of Ms Justice Usha Mehra and Mr Justice C.K. Mahajan directed the crime serial to feature directors of the Okara Group, wanted for running away after cheating people of more than Rs 50 crore.

According to Mr Dinesh Bhatt, DCP, of the offences wing, the information provided by viewers of “India’s Most Wanted” led to the arrest of Punit Singh. This was the second time that the crime programme had been asked for help by the high court. Earlier, the court had directed IMW to feature Charan Singh wanted for the kidnapping of a minor girl. Immediately after the telecast, the man was tracked down and arrested from Chandigarh and the girl was rescued. 
Top

 

HC reserves orders in Tansi cases

Chennai, November 1
The Madras High Court today reserved its orders on appeals filed by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha and others against their convictions in two Tansi land deal cases, the outcome of which could well decide the course of the AIADMK supremo’s political future.

The orders were reserved by Mr Justice N. Dinakar after hearing arguments on the appeals by counsel for the appellants and the prosecution which commenced on October 1.

The arguments mainly centered on whether tansi was the property of the state government and if purchase of Tansi property by firms owned by Ms Jayalalitha and Sasikala Natarajan attracted Section169 of the IPC which said a public servant was legally bound not to purchase or bid for certain property. PTI
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Chunkey Pandey turns hostile in Gulshan case

Bollywood star Salman Khan
Bollywood star Salman Khan (in dark glasses), surrounded by security personnel and policemen, arrives at the Sessions Court in Mumbai on Thursday. — Reuters photo

Mumbai, November 1
Film actor Chunkey Pandey, a key witness in Gulshan Kumar murder case, today turned hostile in the trial court following which two other Bollywood stars, Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, were discharged by the prosecution.

In response to summons issued by Sessions Judge M. L. Tahilyani, Pandey and Salman Khan appeared before him to tender evidence. Pandey turned hostile while Salman was not examined by the prosecution thereafter. Shah Rukh Khan did not appear as he was busy with a professional assignment.

Pandey is the first witness in Gulshan Kumar murder case to turn hostile. The prosecution has examined so far 40 witnesses in the trial, which has reached its fag end.

The actor did not admit the conspiracy meeting of prime accused Abu Salem and music composer Nadeem Akhtar Saifee in his presence at Dubai before the murder of Gulshan Kumar.

He also denied that he had disclosed this incident to the police in September, 1997, and added he could not assign any reason why the police had recorded this information in his statement. PTITop

 

Meghalaya Power Minister resigns

Shillong, November 1
The 19-month-old E.K. Mawlong Government in Meghalaya received a major jolt with the resignation of state Power Minister Martel Mukhim last night over the controversial Meghalaya House deal in Kolkata.

Mr Mukhim’s resignation came a day after the Chief Minister refused to step down as demanded by senior citizens of the state.

The Power Minister, known to be a Mawlong-detractor, said: “I am resigning on moral grounds as the present government under your (Mawlong’s) leadership has failed to live up to the aspirations of the people”.

His resignation also contradicted the claim made by the Chief Minister two days ago that the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) was unanimous in its support to him.

Meanwhile, the Nationalist Congress Party, also a partner of the government, has threatened to pull out unless the Chief Minister scraps the “illegal and one-sided” Meghalaya House deal before November 9. UNI
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Book on  A.S. Anand released
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 1
Munisha Gandhi, an advocate practising in the Punjab and Haryana High Court made her father, Justice A.S. Anand’s 65th birthday and the last day as the Chief Justice of India extraordinary and memorable with the release of a compilation of his letters, speeches and landmark judgements. The book titled ‘Justice for Women Concerns and Expressions’ was released by Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Sushma Swaraj here on Thursday.

Published by Universal Law Publishing Co Pvt Ltd, the book has been compiled by Munisha Gandhi, a law graduate from Punjab University.

Mrs Swaraj said the book was a testimony to the fact that sensitive men not only understood women’s mind but also offered solutions. She drew attention to Justice Anand’s observation that the dignity of women leaves much to be desired. Top

 

2 IMA cadets, instructor killed at firing range

Dehra Dun, November 1
Gentlemen Cadets Aman Gupta and Rajesh Lalotra and Instructor Hav Bhola Singh of the Indian Military Academy (IMA) were killed today at the field firing range in the Asan barrage when a shell burst within the barrel of the mortar they were firing.

According to Lieut. Col Arvind Bhatia, Adjutant at the IMA, a 51 mm mortar blasted when a shell burst within the barrel, killing the trio and injuring two other cadets.

Gentlemen Cadets Gupta and Lalotra were third termers and were to pass out of the academy next month.

Parents of Cadet Gupta arrived at the IMA from Haldwani while those of Cadet Rajesh were on their way to Doon from Gurdaspur, Col. Bhatia said. UNITop

 

Cong notice to Sultan Singh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 1
The Congress high command has issued a show-cause notice to senior party leader Mr Sultan Singh over his alleged anti-party activities.

AICC sources said the notice had been served on Mr Sultan Singh, who had been twice PCC chief and a party MP for more than a decade, over his perceived proximity to Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala. He had been made chairman of the committee set up by the Haryana Government to celebrate the birth aniversary of Devi Lal.Top

 

Malegaon peaceful, NCP seeks probe

Mumbai, November 1
The situation in the powerloom town of Malegaon and adjoining villages, rocked by widespread violence and arson, remained peaceful today even as the NCP, a key partner of the ruling coalition in Maharashtra, demanded a judicial probe into the incident.

Curfew was relaxed in Malegaon for five hours to facilitate people to buy essential commodities, official sources said. Curfew was relaxed for a day in nearby villages of Kalwan and Devla, that witnessed looting and arson on Sunday and Monday.

NCP spokesperson Vasant Chavan said a judicial probe by a sitting or retired judge of the Mumbai High Court, should be instituted to go into the details and those behind it. PTITop

 

Miss India UK

New Delhi, November 1
Parveen Sian (25) from London, has been crowned Miss India UK.

“I am looking forward to representing the UK in the worldwide finals in March, 2002, in the USA,” a British High Commission, statement today quoted Parveen as having said in Coalville, Leicestershire, where the finals were held.

TV’s top Asian presenters, Rajesh Mirchandani and Sonia Deol, hosted the event with celebrities, such as cricketer Chris Lewis, CNN news anchorman Riz Khan and former Miss World Diana Hayden, looking on. UNI
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NATIONAL BRIEFS

RAJASTHAN REVENUE MINISTER DEAD
JAIPUR:
Rajasthan Revenue Minister Kishen Motwani died here on Thursday after prolonged illness. Motwani (77) was admitted to SMS Hospital here following a stroke and other complications a few days ago, an official spokesman said. PTI

TWO CHHOTA RAJAN GANGSTERS KILLED
MUMBAI:
Two gangsters, owing allegiance to underworld don Chhota Rajan, were killed in an encounter with the police on Thursday at Mulund here, the police said. Acting on a tip-off that the two gangsters would be arriving at Mulund checkpost to murder a hotel owner, the police laid a trap on Wednesday night. PTI

OIL PIPELINE BURSTS, CATCHES FIRE
CHENNAI:
A major disaster was averted due to timely action of a Station Master when an oil pipeline of the Indian Oil Corporation burst and caught fire near the Korrukkupet railway station in North Chennai on Thursday morning. UNI

DVB ORDERED TO REFUND RS 44,572
NEW DELHI:
A city consumer court has asked Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) to refund Rs 44,572 to a consumer who was forced to pay the “punitive bill” for an alleged power theft without serving him a proper show-cause notice. The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, North District, which found the DVB guilty of deficiency in service, also asked the power supplier to pay an extra Rs 1,000. PTI
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