N C R   S T O R I E S


Greenhorns out to teach regulars a lesson
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 5
The Disabled Rights Group (DRG), which is contributing to Javed Abidi’s election campaign in the New Delhi parliamentary constituency, has said that Abidi and Shiv Khera, another Independent candidate contesting in the neighbouring South Delhi constituency, have joined hands to spur the voters in the two constituencies to “teach the politician a lesson”.

Javed Abidi is physically challenged. The DRG is a non-political advocacy group for the rights of people with disabilities. Shiv Khera is a writer whose book, You can win, gives a step-by-step approach to success by, as he says in it, doing things differently. Both Abidi and Khera are contesting the elections for the first time.

Rama Chari of DRG says they are convinced that history would be created in this general election when the people of at least the New Delhi constituency and the South Delhi constituency would teach the politician a lesson that he would not easily forget in the years to come. Khera and Abidi are expected to address media persons tomorrow.

“When these elections were announced, everybody had written off the Independent candidates but our campaign has already proved that we are out there to impact this election, at least in our constituencies in a big way”, Rama Chari said in a statement released to the media.

Meanwhile, the INC candidates in the New Delhi and South Delhi parliamentary constituencies continued their campaigns for the polling early next week. Ajay Maken stepped up his interaction with government employees living in the New Delhi constituency. RK Anand roped in a Hindi cinema actress to campaign for him.

The lawyer fraternity marched in support of the BJP candidate in the Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency, Ms Smriti Irani nee Malhotra. They assembled at the Red Fort complex and marched to Ghanta Ghar. Office bearers and members of the BJP’s Legal Cell addressed a public meeting there.



Shoaib forms front to campaign for Cong
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 5
After opting out of the electoral race in Chandni Chowk in favour of INC’s Kapil Sibal, Shoaib Iqbal of Janata Dal (S) has formed a National Secular Force, a conglomerate of five parties, which would campaign for INC in all seven Lok Sabha constituencies of NCT of Delhi.

The five parties are Janata Dal (S), Nationalist Congress Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal, Samajwadi Janata Party and Lok Janshakti Party. It would hold public meetings, beginning with a rally by a former Prime Minister, Mr VP Singh, at Jama Masjid tomorrow.

“We have formed the National Secular Force in view of the divisive tactics of BJP. We will campaign for Congress candidates in Delhi as we want a secular government at the Centre,” Iqbal told media persons. About his decision not to contest, Iqbal said he opted out only after INC accepted his four demands – formation of a Walled City Development Board, Ramlila be held in Old Delhi, Urdu Academy be reinstated in the area and a transit camp be built for pilgrims going to Ajmer.

Iqbal said that that VP Singh and INC’s Ghulam Nabi Azad and Sheila Dikshit were involved in the discussions that led to his decision to sit out. On the Imam of Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari’s call to Muslims to vote for BJP in Chandni Chowk, he said it would not have any effect on the results of the election. “The Imam has opposed me twice in the past but I emerged victorious on both occasions,” he said.



BJP moots setting up of helplines to hear graft plaints
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 5
Proclaiming that it was committed to ending corruption in the NCT of Delhi, the Delhi Pradesh BJP has come up with a novel idea of setting up 100 helpline numbers on which complaints regarding corruption could be made.

As per the ambitious plan mentioned in the party’s Delhi Vision Document 2004, 100 telephone numbers will be made available through audio-visual and print media on which citizens would be able to register secret information on exploitation or corruption any time.

The document released yesterday says “a high-powered judge will be designated to every telephone number who will immediately initiate process to catch the exploiter or corrupt person red-handed and to get him punished.” It also promises a “lasting arrangement” to make a clean and transparent administration available to the citizens of NCT of Delhi.

“The personnel of government departments will have to dispose of work within a fixed time limit. No citizen will have to unnecessarily waste time in any government office,” it said. “Everyone will be able to freely get information from any government department.”

Teenaged kids of candidates new stars in Bhiwani

Bhiwani: Children mostly further their fathers’ business. That’s the norm. Bhiwani has become the centre of attraction for journalists who are traversing the constituency. The fourth generation of late Devi Lal is seeking votes for their father. Digvijay Singh, who is in his teens, has been seeking vote for his father, Mr Ajay Singh Chautala. Six feet tall and a class IX student, Digvijay meets voters, seeks their blessings and votes for the welfare of the state. Ajay’s brother Abhey Chautala, who is also contesting from the Kurukshetra seat, has already campaigned for him while Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, who addressed several election meetings two days back, plans to come here again on May 7.

Gautam Sharma, son of BJP candidate Ram Bilas Sharma, though not tall like his father, has been going to people’s doorstep, telling them about the policies of the party. A group of teenagers and a few elders accompany him. Two brothers of Mr Sharma, Rajender and Roshan, wife Bimla Sharma and daughter Annapurna are also busy meeting the electorate.

Shruti, the only daughter of ex-MP Surender Singh and granddaughter of former Defence Minister Bansi Lal is not a new face for the Bhiwani voters. She was a star campaigner for her father in the 1999 elections. She has already covered the town and is now going to the villages to seek votes for her father. Surender Singh has by his side his father Bansi Lal who is campaigning for him through election meetings. Apart from this, the Congress candidate, Mr Kuldeep Bishnoi, has the privilege of senior star campaigners. His elder brother Chandermohan Bishnoi, also an MLA from the Kalka assembly constituency, and brother-in-law Anup Bishnoi are campaigning for Kuldeep. OC

Building collapse Toll mounts to 7

New Delhi: With the recovery of two more bodies from the rubble of the collapsed building in Sadar Bazar area on May 3, the toll has risen to seven. The fire brigade and police sources said that the bodies of Ram Singh (38) and Dhaneshwar (20) were recovered from the rubble late last night. Both of them were labourers hailing from Jharkhand; they were working in the under-construction building when it collapsed. The bodies of five persons were earlier recovered from the rubble on Monday while one was admitted to the hospital in a serious condition. TNS



DUTA adopts white paper attacking HRD
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 5
The Delhi University Teachers’ Association today anonymously adopted the white paper issued against the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the University Grants Commission (UGC). The white paper comments on the action of the MHRD and UGC, taken to privatise and commercializing higher education.

Briefing media persons on the white paper, the DUTA President, Dr. Aditya Narayan Misra, said that the MHRD and the UGC had taken the decision to privatise education in a hasty manner. They have ruined the education structure to a great extent. The result of the decision could be seen as education shops are opening in every corner of the city. He also said, “Despite the GDP expenditure on higher education being minimal and having come down from 0.5 percent to 0.35 percent, higher education has contributed immensely to economic growth, social mobility and strengthening democracy.” He said that, as a matter of fact, no other sector, except education, can reduce the economic inequity. Therefore, education, including higher education, has to remain subsidized.

Misra said that instead of redressing the problems that have crippled higher education, MHRD and UGC are forcing higher education to become entirely market driven. The content of education, as well as access to it, is to be determined by the ability of the learners to pay and by money making considerations of the education providers. In order to bring this about, the government has ruthlessly proceeded to open up higher education sector to private business, coerce public funded institutions to become self-financing, downsize and contractualise the teaching profession and also non-teaching positions to reduce public funding and make it attractive for profit making by public sector. He said that Murli Manohar Joshi had not even bothered to respond to pleas by teachers for a dialogue. Nor does he reply to letters.

He further said that the UGC has surrendered its role as a willing agent in the task of preparing the road map for complete privatization and commercialization of higher education in India.

The executive members of the DUTA said that where UGC has refused to fill the posts vacant in the colleges, the MHRD is not sending the list of visitor’s nominees for different faculties to allow the process of recruitment and promotion of the teachers in the university department.



Rich haul of liquor in west Delhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 5
The Delhi Police Crime Branch claims to have seized a huge quantity of liquor and arrested four persons from west Delhi.

The sleuths have seized 10,000 bottles, including 99 cartons of Bonnie Scot Whiskey, 89 cartons of Gold Finger Rum, 10 cartons of Imperial Blue, three cartons of Bagpiper whiskey besides four vehicles, including a truck.

The accused persons were identified as Satish, alias Billa, resident of Uttam Nagar, Sanjay Sethi, resident of Ramesh Nagar, Mangat Ram, resident of Uttam Nagar and Ramu, alias Murti, resident of Moti Nagar.

The Inter-state cell received a tip-off that a TSR containing cartons of illicit liquor will again reload in the Nangloi area and accordingly a team was formed and one Satish, alias Billa, was apprehended. The sleuths seized 180 bottles of whiskey marked ‘sale for Rajasthan only.’

Based on the information of Satish, a truck (No HR-38-6082) was raided in the Mundka area and a huge quantity of liquor was seized. The sleuths arrested two persons, Mangat and Ram, and also arrested a godown owner, Sanjay Sethi.

During interrogation the accused persons told the sleuths that they used to bring the liquor from Bharatpur in Rajasthan for sale in Delhi. After bringing the liquor from Rajasthan, they stored it in the godown in West Delhi.

Since the poll dates are nearing in Delhi, they wanted to supply liquor on demand to various political parties.

The Delhi Police have intensified the raid in the past few weeks as the general elections are nearing in the national Capital. Over the last few days the Crime Branch has arrested several persons who were supplying illicit liqour in the Capital besides smashing several godowns.



Mr & Mrs Tobacco to hit anti-smoking trail
Tribune News Delhi

New Delhi, May 5
For the first time, the Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) in association with the Delhi Government has come out with a novel method to create public awareness about death and destruction caused by the consumption of tobacco and its related products.

An innovative module of public education, using caricatures named Mr Tobacco and Mrs Tobacco, was launched here today for nearly a month till May 31 which is observed the world over as Anti-Tobacco Day. The theme this year is “Tobacco and Poverty”. The caricature also marks 2004 as the Year of Scientific Awareness.

As a part of the campaign Mr and Mrs Tobacco Clinic is also being set up at K. L. Chopra Body Mind Institute, D-50, Defence Colony, where smokers can get free advice on how to quit smoking. The clinic will be open from 8 am to 8 pm.

Smoking has emerged as a major risk factor for cancer of the oral cavity, heart attacks, stroke, other cancer and various respiratory ailments, claiming over 20 lakh deaths every year in the country. Worldwide, every single minute six persons die of smoking. No drugs are effective and the remedy lies in quitting smoking. But the problem is how to give up the evil habit.

It is to meet this long felt demand that the “caricature” of tobacco has been conceptualised as a month-long anti-tobacco activity. Mr Tobacco will be presented in the form of a human dummy made up of cigarettes and other tobacco related products.

This information was given here today at a press meet by Dr K. K. Aggarwal, Executive Vice Chairman, HCFI. The others who interacted with the press included Mr Anuj Sinha from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, Dr R. N. Baishya, Director, Health Services, Government of Delhi, Dr Lt-Col S. K. Garg, MOH, New Delhi Municipal Council, Dr K. N. Tewari, MHO, Municipal Corporation of Delhi and Dr A. C. Tripathy, SPO (Anti Smoking Cell), Department of Health Services, Delhi Government.

Sonalika Sahay, well-known ramp model, was also present.

It was revealed that Mr Tobacco is suffering from oral cancer. His wife, Mrs Tobacco, a patient of heart disease as a result of passive smoking, has been advised bypass surgery. Their adopted son, Junior Tobacco, has been missing schools due to respiratory infections.

Mr Tobacco will be taken to various strategic locations in the Capital in various forms and conditions, projecting the consequences of smoking, including the health problems faced by the smoker. The public will be urged to shun smoking to lead a healthy life and spare their families of its agony both on the economic and social front.



EC should take steps to ensure voting rights of slum dwellers: Sheila
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 5
“I have submitted the list of displaced slum dwellers to the Election Commission and asked it to take steps to ensure that they are not disenfranchised. It is the Commission’s responsibility to take measures so that the displaced people could vote in the constituencies they are enrolled in,” Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit told media persons.

Ms Dikshit was addressing a press conference with Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) president Prem Singh. She said about 30,000 to 35,000 people displaced recently from the Yamuna Pushta are at risk of losing their franchise. The Election Commission, she said, should take steps to ensure the democratic rights of these people.

Charging the BJP candidate in the New Delhi constituency, Mr Jagmohan, with displacing the “Congress voters” just before the polls, Dikshit said, “This policy of bulldozing will not be tolerated.” She alleged that the police were creating hurdles in setting up polling booths on the pretext that the schools “are not safe”.

Though the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has offered to construct walls, the police are not ready to accept this as it is being politically used to disenfranchise the hapless poor people, she alleged. She also charged the police with harassing her party’s workers and urged the Commission to stop this “political use” of police.

Ms Dikshit said police were sending notices to Congress workers, having no previous criminal records, asking them to report to the police stations, deposit Rs 10,000 as surety and even threatening to arrest them just before the elections.

“This is the first time it is happening in the Capital,” she told reporters.

“Indiscriminate notices being sent to Congress workers is meant to terrorise them and create panic among voters so that they do not come to cast their ballots,” Dikshit said and added that she has complained about this to the Election Commission, the Lieutenant-Governor and the Police Commissioner.



Support from two mahapanchayats peps up BSP candidate
Our Correspondent

Rewari, May 5
With the unstinted support extended by two mahapanchayats – the Gujjar community and the Dalit Samaj - the BSP candidate, Mr Rohtash Khatana, is upbeat about his electoral prospects.

The mahapanchayat of members of the Dalit Samaj (chamar community) of 45 villages of the Mahendergarh constituency was held at Dhanonda village, about 50 km from here, on May 3 while the Gujjar mahapanchayat was organised last week at Majri village near here.

The elders of the Gujjar community, who felt elated to note that a young man (Rohtash Khatana) of their own community was contesting the Lok Sabha poll as a candidate of a national political party (BSP) from Mahendergarh for the first time in the past four decades, decided to support him wholeheartedly. Similarly, members of the chamar community which is now solidly behind the BSP chief, Ms Mayawati, resolutely announced their support to Mr Khatana.

At a press conference here yesterday, Mr Khatana exuded confidence, saying that his poll prospects had considerably brightened up. He claimed that he was far ahead of his ‘heavyweight’ rivals in the assembly segments of Bawal, Sohna and Narnaul, which he had extensively covered and where the Gujjar electorate held sway. He went on to say that he was doing well in the other remaining segments as well.

Describing the combined support of the Dalit Samaj and the Gujjar community, which approximately account for four lakh votes in the Mahendergarh constituency, as a vital factor for him in the electoral battle here, Mr Khatana asserted that the poll outcome in Mahendergarh could spring a surprise this time.

Meanwhile, the continued influx of potential leaders of various other political parties into the BJP has strengthened the BJP on the one hand while it has also tended to boost the electoral fortunes of the party candidate, Dr Sudha Yadav, in the Mahendragarh constituency on the other hand.

Mrs Shashi Yadav, a member of the national executive committee of the All India Women’s Conference and a prominent Congress activist of Ahirwal, is the latest entrant in the BJP fold. The others who joined the party recently include two former ministers, Rao Narbir Singh and Mr Jaswant Singh Bawal, president of the Jan Jagriti Manch, Mr Randhir Singh Kapriwas, former district chief of the youth wing of the INLD, Mr Lachhman Singh Yadav and former president of the Kanina municipal committee, Mr Rajender Singh Lodha.

Describing their entry into the BJP as highly auspicious as well as rejuvenating for the party, the state vice-president of the BJP, Mr Kailash Chand Sharma, asserted it had also brought about a qualitative change in the party set-up in Ahirwal. He went on to say that their active participation had lent intensity and credibility to Dr Sudha Yadav’s election campaign as well as brightened her chances for a victory with a bigger margin this time.



Drive against adulterated foodstuffs
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 5
The Health Department has intensified its campaign against the adulteration in foodstuffs in the district and elsewhere in the state.

According to a report, this followed the series of public complaints about the sale of adulterated foodstuffs at the hotels, dhabas and restaurants, shops of halwais, shopkeepers and fast food counters.

However, the department has failed to take steps for taking of samples at the canteens run by the educational institutions, industrial units, depots of Haryana Roadways and the government offices as well as the canteens run in the mini-secretariat.

The department has also issued instructions to the food staff posted at the district headquarters to take at least 100 sample of foodstuffs every month in their respective areas.



Soldier falls from train, dies
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 5
A BSF jawan, Vidyadhar, fell down from a running train and killed on the spot near Rathdhanna railway station about 8 km from here last evening.

According to a report, the victim was posted at Jammu and travelling in the train on his way to his home in Rajasthan on two-month leave.

He was peeping out from the window of the train and hit by a pole near the railway station.

The government Railway Police (GRP) has sent the body for the post-mortem examinations. The victim belonged to Sayya village in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan.



Two get life term in murder case
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 5
A City Court today sentenced a person and his accomplice to life imprisonment for killing his aunt in Shivpuri seven years ago.

The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr. S. L. Bhayana, pronounced the order convicting Anil Kumar and Surya Narayan for killing Dujadevi on May 9, 1997, at 3 pm, at her residence in Shivpuri.

Mudrika Prasad, the husband of the victim, had lodged a complaint with the Dabri police station that his wife had been killed and some precious items were stolen from the house.

The police arrested Anil Kumar (28), who was staying with Prasad, on May 10, 1997. On his disclosure, Surya Narayan (25) was also arrested from Bihar on May 12, 2003.

Two wristwatches, one camera, eight sarees, Rs 2,000 and some ornaments were recovered from the accused. Anil and Surya had stabbed Dujadevi to death.

Mr Bhayana also imposed a fine of Rs 15,000 each on the accused and life imprisonment to them under sections 302, 394 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.

Hundreds of phones go dead

Sonepat: Hundreds of telephones in the villages of Nahram Nahri, Majra, Jhinjhauli and Mandori continued to remain dead following a major fault in the telephone exchange at Nahra village in the district.

According to a report, this has caused strong resentment among the telephone subscribers whose link had been cut off for the past one week or so. Several subscribers alleged that all their complaints made to the authorities of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) in this regard have fallen on deaf ears.

The Subscribers Welfare Association has expressed its grave concern over the inefficient and unsatisfactory working of the telephone exchange at Nahra village and demanded a high-level probe into the complaints of telephone subscribers.

In a press release, it also urged the Union Communication Minister to intervene and punish the erring officials found responsible for the mess.

Observer to visit Sonepat

Sonepat: Mr G. S. Patnaik, a special observer appointed by the CEC for Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh, will tour the Sonepat parliamentary constituency tomorrow to make on the spot study of the arrangements for ensuring free and fair elections in the constituency.

Shop burgled

Sonepat: Thieves are reported to have broken the shutters of a shop near the Railway flyover here last night and escaped with a variety of goods worth several thousands of rupees from it.

The stolen goods include electric fans, stereos and Rs 4,963. The shopkeeper has lodged an FIR with the police in this connection.

Man robbed

A resident of Bahinsru Khuru village, Ajit, was robbed of Rs 1,150 by six youths near Pehladpur Kirohli village about 15 km from here last evening.

He was travelling in a Tata 407, along with his buffalo and going to Karala village (Delhi).

He was allegedly beaten up by the youths. The youths fled from the scene after committing the crime.



NCC, Cancer India to launch awareness programme
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 5
The National Cadet Corps (NCC) and the Cancer Care India have announced time to time cancer awareness programmes under the joint programme to launch a nationwide awareness programme.

The joint cancer awareness programme, which was launched last year in May, will be conducted in phases. The first phase will be for NCC boys and girls between 15 to 20 years and in the second phase two trained NCC cadets will propagate cancer awareness amongst the masses as a part of their community development and social service activities.

The NCC together with the Cancer Care India have carried out six such workshops in five states, the most recent being the one in Dehradun on May 4, this year.


The BSES Yamuna has announced loadshedding in the Subhash Nagar, F block Mansarovar Garden, B-49 and A-15 Mayapuri and its adjoining areas from 10 am to 12 am on May 6 due to some maintenance work.



Heroin worth Rs 4 cr seized, three held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 5
The Delhi Police Narcotics Branch has claimed to have arrested three persons in two different operations and seized four kilograms of heroin worth Rs 4 crore in the international market.

The accused were identified as Latif Mohammad Sheikh (60), resident of Rajasthan, Usman Khan (51), resident of Haryana and Kehar Singh, alias Kehri Lal (30), resident of Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh.

In the first case, the sleuths received the secret information that two persons would be supplying heroin near the Nirankari Park and accordingly they were nabbed and two kilograms of heroin was seized from their possession. They were identified as Latif and Usman.

In the second case, Kheri Lal was apprehended near Nigam Bodh Ghat and two kilograms of heroin and a motorcycle were seized from his possession.

Ex-Airforce official held

The Delhi Police Economic Offences Wing has arrested an ex-Indian Airforce official for receiving compensation of a land in Pansali, which was acquired by a Land Acquisition Collection, by concealing the fact that he had already sold the land.

The accused, Choudhury Ran Singh (60), resident of Kanjhawala and an ex-warrant officer in the IAF, had obtained Rs 6.10 lakh from Land Acquisition Collection, North-West Delhi by filing a false affidavit and went absconding.

Gang of train robbers busted

With the arrest of five persons, the Crime Branch has claimed to have busted a gang of train robbers and seized one country-made weapon and two knives from their possession.

The accused persons were identified as Rajesh (25), resident of Badarpur, Vijay alias Videshi (25), resident of Mandawali, Parmod alias Satya (22), resident of Madhya Pradesh, Ram Chander alias Ramu (22), resident of Chattisgarh and Sagar alias Karan (22), resident of Lucknow.



Rs 7 lakh looted from steel employee
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, May 5
Scoter-borne criminals snatched a bag containing Rs 7 lakh from an employee of a steel company on the G.T. Road, opposite MMG Hospital under Kotwali police station, in broad day light today.

The traders downed their shutters in the main markets of Ghaziabad to protest against rising crime and increasing insecurity in the city.

This incident of loot took place at about 11 am, when the employee of the Ajay Steel Co, Pawan, was coming on his scooter with Rs 7 lakh withdrawn by him from the Union Bank of India.

When he reached opposite MMG Hospital on the G.T. Road, criminals banged his scooter. As he fell, they snatched the moneybag. When Pawan resisted, he was first hit by revolver butt, and later shot at by criminals who abandoned their own scooter and sped away on another scooter, which they had snatched from a passer-by. Pawan was rushed to a Yashoda hospital in a serious condition.

CO Serwanand Yadav said police have recovered the criminals’ scooter and an empty bullet from the spot.

The steel traders, who jammed the G.T. Road, alleged that law and order situation in the city was going from bad to worse. The traders had downed their shutters in protest.



No lead in petrol pump loot case
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 5
The police is still clueless about the robbers who had looted about 12.5 lakhs on gunpoint from a petrol pump here on Monday last. It has reportedly decided to prepare computer sketches of the suspects and flash them in the neighbouring Delhi and other parts of the NCR. Although about 10 to 15 persons, mostly employees of the pump, have been interrogated in this connection, but it is learnt that this has so far failed to lead the police to any solid conclusion.

The owner of the pump, Mr Vasdev Saluja, said that the money had not been insured as was being propagated by some people and there was none among his staff, who he said could be suspected for involvement. But the police was welcome to interrogate anyone at the pump, he added.

It may be recalled that three armed youths had barged in the office of the pump at about 10.30 am on Monday last, and took away the cash lying on the table, which was being counted before being taken to the bank. The robbers, who had revolvers with them simply walked away out and used a motorcycle to flee away within minutes, while nobody raised an alarm or tried to chase them. The pump is located in one of the busiest area.

Man apprehended

The police have arrested a person in connection with the alleged murder of his wife who was found to be strangulated in the house of the victim’s brother at Adarsh Nagar here.

According to the complaint, the accused, identified as Jagrup, married to one Kamla, had come along with their children to the house of the brother of the woman. But it is learnt that the house owner found her sister strangulated to death next morning. He alleged that his brother-in-law had murdered Kamla. A case has been registered.


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