L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Protest against boundary wall causes tension
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
There was tension on the Dabba road, Shimla Puri, here today when hundreds of residents of the area staged a demonstration against the construction of a wall around a plot that allegedly encroaches upon a wide street approved by the municipal corporation and the District Town Planner.

The construction affects the area residents as it blocks the street completely. Residents alleged that the value of their plots and houses would be affected and they would have to go round a long way to reach their houses if the wall were constructed.

It is learnt that the large plot was sold to a private school. The deal was finalised and initial payment made. However, the prospective buyer stopped further payments as the street divided the plot into two parts, leaving it useless.

This allegedly led the present owner to construct a wall around the plot, causing resentment among the residents. A massive demonstration was staged at the place today, forcing personnel from the Dabba police post to intervene. The demonstration continued for several hours, following which the owners were forced to stop the construction.

At one stage the situation had become very tense when 50 or 60 supporters of the owner also reached the place. Police intervention prevented a clash.

Though the owners could not be contacted, according to police sources, both the parties had their claims and counter-claims, which were being verified by the police.

The sources said the owners claimed to have revenue records in their support, while the residents had documents showing an approved street passing through the plot.

Mr Manjit Singh Matharu, an area resident, said it was a four-acre area in which the colony was developed. The houses had come up in the area rapidly as the developers showed the approved streets. The streets were laid out as per the plan, till the dispute over one of these stopped further development.



Pleasing gods by blocking roads
Kuldip Bhatia

One of the busiest roads from Domoria Bridge to Old Courts in Civil Lines remains blocked throughout the day for holding a "jagran" leading to traffic chaos
One of the busiest roads from Domoria Bridge to Old Courts in Civil Lines remains blocked throughout the day for holding a “jagran” leading to traffic chaos in the entire locality.
— Photo by IV

Ludhiana, May 15
In the name of gods or goddesses one can get away with anything and the people, even though inconvenienced or agitated at times, will not utter a single word of protest for the fear of earning the wrath of gods or hurting the religious sentiments of their fellow believers.

Blocking busy roads, intersections, entry or exit points of thickly populated residential or commercial areas in the city for holding a variety of functions, mostly of religious nature, like “jagrans”, has become a routine rather than an exception and the organisers, in their enthusiasm to please their deities, do not care two hoots for the discomfort caused to other people.

In one such incident of blocking one of the busiest roads, leading from Domoria Bridge to Old Courts in Civil Lines, the organisers of a “jagran” blocked the entire width of the road from early morning to put up huge shamianas and stage even though the function was to commence late in the evening. With the result, the entire pressure of vehicular traffic was shifted towards the road from Kailash Cinema to Sessions Chowk and the traffic cops had a tough time in the sweltering heat to regulate the traffic.

Vehicles on the entire stretch of the road from Domoria Bridge to Kailash Cinema and further towards Session Chowk were stuck for a considerable time and for quite some time during the day, the traffic lights at Sessions Chowk, which failed to cope with the voluminous traffic, were switched for manual regulation.

In the process, a large number of buses, autorickshaws and cycle rickshaws, carrying schoolchildren as well as other commuters and visitors to the three banks on the Kailash Cinema Road were stuck in the chaotic traffic.

A number of residents living in the lanes on both sides of the Kailash Cinema - Courts Road complained that the streets remained blocked for most part of the day due to serpentine queues of vehicles.

While inquiries made to check whether the organisers had taken any permission from the authorities to block a public road yielded no result as Saturday was a holiday and all government offices were closed, it is obvious that no permission had been taken and the administration, as usual, failed to move into action to save the affected residents from this kind of harassment.



Watch out for tricksters!
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, May 15
On May 1, Prem Chand, an ITBP jawan hailing from Haripur village in Kangra district, was waiting for a bus near the Subhash Nagar T-point. Suddenly, a youth drew his attention to a smear on the back of his shirt. The jawan, without giving any thought as to how his shirt got smeared, started cleaning it. As his attention got diverted, the youth and a smart girl accompanying him made good their escape with his briefcase containing about Rs 1.5 lakh. A case against unknown tricksters was registered at the Jodhewal police station.

Five days later, Mr Sham Sunder, a Sahnewal-based businessman in his mid-30s, was on a business visit to the local Meena Bazar. He parked his car in the nearby municipal parking lot and headed for the market on foot. He was carrying a bag containing Rs 40,000. Just as he entered the market, someone cleverly smudged his shirt. One of the tricksters following the businessman came from behind and drew his attention to the mess on his shirt. Just as Mr Sunder started cleaning his shirt, a youth tried to snatch his bag but the businessman managed to maintain his grip on it. Before passersby could assemble and apprehend the two tricksters, they managed to flee on a scooter in one of the most crowded business centres of the old city.

And on Thursday, Mr Dilbagh Singh, a 75-year-old retired teacher living in a village near Gurdaspur, had come to the city in connection with a court case. Alighting from a bus at the Jalandhar bypass, the ex-teacher reached Ghanta Ghar from where he started walking towards the new courts. The old man was carrying a bag containing Rs 2,500, some important documents and his meal. When a youth came from behind and told him that his shirt was smeared with “shit”, he reached a water tap and started cleaning the shirt. Sensing the opportunity, the youth picked up the bag and slipped away.

Such incidents are becoming routine in the city. However, since Ludhianvis are well aware of such tricksters, they do not fall prey to them so easily. The tricksters, who are also aware of this, try to con only outsiders on a visit to the city or passing through it. Since such instances go unreported, tricksters have been emboldened to target outsiders with impunity.

Another favourite ruse of these tricksters these days is to scatter some currency notes on the road to divert the attention of their quarry and escape with whatever they can lay their hands on.



Gang of car thieves busted, four held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
The Division No. 5 police today claimed to have arrested four members of a gang of car thieves who worked in recovery agencies with private banks and indulged in stealing cars from the city and selling them off in Karnal.

Four stolen cars and two scooters were recovered from their possession. The gang members were working in agencies which recover cars from those clients of banks or finance companies who do not pay instalments of the vehicles.

At a press conference held this evening, Mr Anil Joshi, SHO, Division No. 5, claimed that the gang members had been identified as Mohit of Karnal, Kulwant Singh, alias Babbi, Jaswinder Singh, alias Rinku, and Paramjit Singh, alias Rinku, all belonging to the city.

He said the police had received a tip-off about the activities of the gang and had arrested one of the gang members, Mohit, on May 7. A car had been recovered from his possession. Three other gang members were arrested from Gurdev Nagar this afternoon. The police recovered a car belonging to a city journalist . 



Opinion divided on Sonia as PM
Naveen S. Garewal

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
The defeat of the Congress and the victory of the SAD-BJP alliance in this parliamentary constituency has been accepted as the verdict of the people by one and all. However, what is not being received well by many city residents is the fact that Mrs Sonia Gandhi will be the next Prime Minister after being elected leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party. Even those who voted for the Congress are now openly expressing their sentiments, causing a sharp polarisation between those who are willing to accept Mrs Gandhi as the next Prime Minister and those who are not.

Local Hindu voters voted for the SAD nominee, not because they wanted the candidate to win, but because they wanted Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee to continue in the saddle.

“My sentiments have been seriously hurt and I cannot reconcile to this development”, says Mrs Kamla Sharma, adding that her son was posted at the border, guarding the national borders without thinking twice about his own life or the welfare of his family. She said for him his motherland was above all and there was no way she could see someone who was not Indian born as the nation’s leader.

Mr Rajoo Vermani, too, has some similar sentiments. He says, “We Indians are very tolerant. This is perhaps something that springs from our faith in secularism. But no nationalist can digest the fact that a “mem” will head the nation”. His friend, Mr Kultar Singh, adds, “These remarks should not be misinterpreted as no one is expressing any doubts about Mrs Gandhi’s loyalty to India. What the people are resenting is the fact that a person of foreign origin is going to head the nation which has the largest number of people in the world”.

Some of the SMS messages doing the rounds since the May 13 results should not be taken as light-hearted jokes. They express a very strong undercurrent, says an industrialist, Mr Kulwant Singh. A progressive farmer, Mr Gurbir Singh, says that the Congress may have had a good innings this time, but the party has failed to gauge the sentiment of the masses, most of whom are not opposed to the Congress, but resent the fact that the party could not put up any other leader for the prime ministership.

These messages include, “Ab khush ho tum Hindustani? Raj karegi vedashi rani. Sau crore main ek videshi ko de di kamaan. Ab kabhi na kehna, Mera Bharat Mahaan”, “History repeats itself. India again ruled by a foreigner. Greatest tragedy, one billion couldn’t find an Indian as PM. Shame”, “Atalji gone, Sonia in; parontha out, pizza in; milk out, martini in; Munnabhai out, mafia in; Amitabh out, Al Pacino in. In short, India out, Italy in. Now suffer”, “Loi viva! Didn’t understand? This is Jai Hind in Italian, get used to it”, “Ab sab bolo, Vande Mata Rome” “India is truly a secular country with an Italian Prime Minister, Muslim President and Hindu voters!”

With every passing day, the number of these massages is increasing,. Many Congress leaders have objected to it, but are not sure what they can do to stop this. Some of them say that this is a BJP-sponsored campaign.



Cong leaders blame councillors for defeat
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
Two days before the counting, a senior Congress leader and the Minister for Higher Education, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, organised a function at his residence in Model Town to celebrate the party's victory in Andhra Pradesh. However, no such function was held here after the counting, in view of the party’s defeat in Ludhiana and several other constituencies of Punjab.

Congress leaders and workers in the city were a disappointed lot yesterday after the Akali-BJP alliance candidate, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, defeated Congress candidate Manish Tiwari by a margin of about 18,000 votes.

A senior Congress leader here pointed out, “We feel quite unfortunate that we cannot celebrate the party's good showing at the Centre as we lost in Ludhiana and also in Punjab.” He blamed some local Congress leaders for the debacle of the party in Punjab and the defeat of the candidate in Ludhiana.

Although the Congress wrongly presumed that Lok Bhalai Party candidate Balwant Singh Ramoowalia would cut into the votes of Mr Dhillon, local leaders are blaming it on some councillors who were supporters of the outgoing MP, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib. The councillors allegedly helped Mr Ramoowalia within the city, resulting in poor lead for Mr Tiwari in urban areas.

Going by the results of the Assembly elections in February, 2002, Mr Tiwari should have managed a lead of over 80,000 in urban areas, but he had to settle for less than 30,000.

Since the Akali candidate had already managed a massive lead in rural segments like Koom Kalan, Kila Raipur and Jagraon, it was difficult for Mr Tiwari to close the gap.

Desperation was writ large on the faces of local Congress leaders and workers, particularly after it became certain that the party was forming the government at the Centre. They had hoped that Mr Tiwari could have even become a minister, given his proximity to the Gandhi family. But that was not to be.



Congress govt has lost trust of people: BKU
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
Commenting on the humiliating defeat of Congress candidates in the Lok Sabha elections in Punjab, the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) has observed that the electorate has expressed its resentment by voting in favour of SAD-BJP nominees and the ruling party in Punjab has paid a very heavy price for its failure to fulfil its poll promises.

The BKU president, Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, talking to mediapersons here today, said farmers, workers and Dalits had overwhelmingly supported the SAD-BJP combine in Punjab while they had given a clear verdict against the Congress, due to “anti-farmer” and “anti-people” policies of the government.

Claiming that the Congress government in Punjab had failed to give a fair deal to farmers, the BKU chief alleged that they had to face harassment in securing payment for their farm produce sold to millers and government agencies, arrears worth over Rs 115 crore for sugarcane crop sold during last year were still unpaid, the facility of free water and electricity had been withdrawn, charges for extension of load for tubewells had been raised by 100 per cent by the PSEB, farmers were made to purchase seeds at a higher price under diversification of farming programme, whereas they had been denied proportionately higher prices for the produce.

Meanwhile, senior BJP leader and former Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, Mr Sat Pal Gosain, has lauded the people of Punjab for making possible a sweeping victory for the SAD-BJP combine in the Lok Sabha elections. In a statement here today, he said the electorate had made it amply clear that in a democratic set-up, there was no place for “maharajas” and their “rajashahi” style of working. Rather than conducting a witch-hunt against its political opponents, the Congress government should have launched development projects and welfare schemes for the people, he said.

In separate meetings, the Bhartiya Sabka Sainik Bhalai Sangathan and South Mandal of the BJP have praised the people of Punjab for reposing faith in the SAD-BJP alliance and making possible the victory of 11 of its candidates out of 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab.



Those who couldn’t vote — 4th list
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
The following names have been found missing from the voter’s list during parliamentary election:

Sunil Datt and Karuna Datt, 712, Mali Ganj, Ludhiana; Sudarshan Sharma and Kiran Sharma, 6164, Hargobind Nagar, Ludhiana; Ujaggar Singh, 1272, Ward-10, Chowk Iqbal Ganj, Ludhiana; Harbans Lal, Kalish Devi, Ramesh Chander, Rajinder Kumar, Neeru and Minakshi, 678/2A, st. no. 9, Upkar Nagar, Civil Lines, Ludhiana; Mukesh Malhotra, 2318/44, Basti Abdullapur, B-17, Ludhiana.

Mundrika Pandit, Ajay Kumar, Suman Kumari, Mithilesh Pandit, Kamlesh Mishra and Poonam Mishra, 1540, st. no. 14, Janakpuri, Ludhiana; Jiwan Kumar Sood, 157-I, BRS Nagar, Ludhiana; Dr. Mehar Singh, Dr. Navdeep Singh and Satwant Kaur, 5-GF, HIG Flats, Rajguru Nagar, Ludhiana; Arun Goyal and Renu Goyal, 2166/A, Kuldeep Nagar, Ludhiana; Varinder Dhir and Gaurav Dhir, B-XXIV, 2590, Kuldeep Nagar, Ludhiana; Darshan K. Puri, Sushma Puri, Naresh Puri and Renu, 781, Chander Nagar, Ludhiana.

Premjit Singh, 1495, st. no. 3, Block-A, Guru Nanak Colony near Gill canal, Ludhiana; Ratinder Kapoor and Parmeet Kaur, 791, double storey, Inds. Colony, Nr. Pahwa Hospital, Gill Road, Ludhiana; Dr Lovkesh Sharma and Urvashi Sharma, 144-C, BRS Nagar, Ludhiana; Jasbir Singh Saini, Shashi Saini, Manveen Kaur Saini and Manmeet Singh Saini, 706-I, BRS Nagar, Ludhiana.

Navtej Singh, 61-B, Shastri Nagar, Ludhiana; Krishan Lal Sharma and Kamlesh Rani Sharma, 1029/I, Arunodaya Model School, Islam Ganj, Ludhiana; Gurwinder Singh and Kawaljeet Kaur, 1545, St. No. 5, Kwality Road, Ludhiana; Sajjan Singh, Balbir Kaur, Jagjiwan Singh, Amar Singh, Renu Bala, Goldi and Satwant Kaur, 768, B-VI, Gaushalla Road, Ludhiana; B.M. Kalra, 8/15A, Rose Enclave, ward no. 25, near Rose Garden, Civil Lines, Ludhiana; Ravinder Singh Puri, Kulwant Kaur Puri and Amarpreet Kaur Puri, 1020, Urban Estate, Phase I, Dugri, Ludhiana; Varinder Singh and Rupinder Singh, 12/150, Ajitsar Nagar, Raikot Road, Mandi Mullanpur, Ludhiana; Jagnahar Singh Randhawa, Jagpreet Singh Randhawa and Parminderjeet Kaur Randhawa, 1GF, HIG-Flats, Rajguru Nagar, Ludhiana.

Parmanand Gogna, Satyawati Gogna, Dharam Vir Gogna, Anuradha Gogna, Karamvir Gogna, Poonam Gogna and Karan Gogna, 1308/12, Sewakpura Miller Ganj, Ludhiana; Vikas Narula, 37, Rose Enclave, near Rose Garden, College Road, Civil Lines, Ludhiana; Rajinder Kumar Chugh and Sushma Chugh, Flat No. 4340, Urban Estate, Phase II, Dugri Road, Ludhiana; Rishab Kumar Jain, Sushma Jain and Kunal Jain, B-II-2040/10E, Jain Nagar, Shivpuri Road, Ludhiana; Kiran, H.No. B-34/3687, Haibowal Kalan , Jassian Road, Ludhiana; Baljit Singh Gill, Jaspinder Kaur Gill and Ramandeep Singh Gill, 968-C, Phase-II, Urban Estate, Focal Point (Jamalpur), Ludhiana; Inderjit Singh, Devinder Kaur, Upinderjit Singh and Kulwinder Kaur, 173, Asha Puri, Barewal, Ludhiana.

Deepika, Nisha Tuteja, Sonia Tuteja and Jatin Kumar, B-X-30, Iqbal Ganj, Ludhiana; Krishan, Vinod Bala, Sandeep Kumar, Sumati Sharma, Sambh-Bhushan and Madhu, 715, Phase-II, Urban Estate, Dugri Road, Ludhiana; Raj Rani, Parkash Singh, Sanjeev Kumar, 244, Daad village, Ludhiana; Ashok Kumar, Anu Khullar, Bimla Khullar and Dharminder Pal, 2027, Dugri, Urban Estate, Phase I, Ludhiana; Chaman Lal and Tarsem, Mohalla Fatehgarh, Ludhiana.

Charanjit Singh Aulakh, 186, Rajguru Nagar, Ludhiana; Kulwant Singh, Sukhjinder Kaur, Tarundeep Singh, Jagreet Kaur, Sumandeep Singh, Pawandeep Singh, Gurinder Singh and Amandeep Kaur, 38-B, Rajguru Nagar, Ludhiana; Sher Singh and Harpreet Kaur, 35-B, Rajguru Nagar, Ludhiana; Shivkaran Singh, Sukhbir Kaur, Arshdeep Singh and Navneet Kaur, 39-B, Rajguru Nagar, Ludhiana; Harminder Kaur, Jasbir Kaur and Gurpreet Kaur, 53-B, Rajguru Nagar; Jasmail Kaur and Davinder Singh, 54-B, Rajguru Nagar; Balbir Singh, 49-B, Rajguru Nagar, Ludhiana; Yash Pal Goyal, Anita Goyal and Noopur Goyal, 37-B, Rajguru Nagar, Ludhiana.



Ranike’s bhog today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
The bhog for Kulwant Singh Ranike, media in-charge of the successful SAD candidate from this Lok Sabha constituency, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, would be held on May 16 at Gurdwara Singh Sabha, MIG Colony, Jamalpur, on the Chandigarh road here.

An activist of the Sikh Students Federation and the Shiromani Youth Akali Dal, Ranike died in a road accident three days before the poll. He is survived by his wife and two daughters aged 8 and 4.



Romesh Rana to lead Rotary group study team
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
Mr Romesh Rana, assistant governor, Rotary International 3070, has been selected leader of the group study exchange team. He will lead a team of four members from different professions. The team will visit seven countries, including Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Djibouti, for one month. He will act as ambassador of Rotary International 3070 to promote international understanding, peace and brotherhood.

The other team members are Dr Sidhu Simran (Ludhiana), Mr IP Singh (Phagwara), Mr Rajesh Sharma (Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh) and Mr Abhishek Sharma (Hoshiarpur).

He with his team will call on heads of state and government in every country to convey good wishes of the people of India. He will address Rotary Club meetings, press conferences, social and educational meetings.



Niharika Club holds Summer Queen contest
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
Niharika Ladies Club organised Summer Queen contest for its members here yesterday at Friends Regency Hotel. The president of the club, Mrs Shaheen, welcomed the members.

The contestants were divided into two age groups — under 35 and above 35. More than 20 women participated.

The contest was adjudged by Mrs Tina Arora, a textile designer from Delhi. Ms Simrat was declared Summer Queen. The first runner-up and the second runner-up in the below-35 age group were Ms Sandeep Oberoi and Ms Zinny Paul, respectively.

In the above-35 category, Ms Jasmeen was crowned Summer Queen. The first runner-up and second runner-up were Ms Goggi Grover and Ms Navrej Gill, respectively.



Harbhajan Deol, Patar honoured
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
The Malwa Sabhyacharak Manch organised a function to honour Dr Harbhajan Singh Deol, renowned academician and former Commissioner of the Minority Language Commission of the Government of India, and Dr Surjit Patar, renowned poet and president of the Punjabi Sahit Academy, Ludhiana, at Rajguru Nagar here today.

Krishan Kumar Bawa, Chairman of the manch, said Dr Deol and Dr Patar had been honoured as they played a vital role in making the individuals think beyond the differences of religion, caste, creed and community. 



5 of family booked for demanding dowry
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
On the statement of Ms Parveen, a resident of Bhagat Singh Nagar in Durga Puri, the Haibowal police has registered a case under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC against her husband, Mr Arwinder Kumar, and other members of her in-laws’ family, Harish Kumar, Jang Bahadur, Lajwanti and Krishna, who live near Chaura Bazar, Ahmadgarh, in Sangrur district.

The woman alleged that her in-laws had been harassing her and demanding more dowry.

Cyclist killed: The Jodhewal police on Friday registered a case under Sections 304-A and 427 of the IPC on the statement of Prince Kumar, a resident of Guru Arjan Dev Nagar, against Ranjit Singh of Chopria Gardhiwala village in Hoshiarpur district.

The complaint states that Ranjit Singh, who was driving a bus, had hit Prince Kumar’s father going on a bicycle, who was admitted to the Civil Hospital, where he died on Friday.



Six hurt in clash
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 15
Six persons were injured in a clash over a property dispute in Rahaun village on Friday evening. Satnam Singh was kidnapped by the attackers and later recovered from the house of Iqbal Singh in the village.

The police said Gurinder Singh, Baldev Singh, Vikram Singh and Jit Singh had been arrested and a rifle seized from the accused.

Burn injuries: Sukha, a plumber, received burn injuries after getting an electric shock from high-voltage cables in Krishna Nagar area on Saturday morning.

He was rushed to the Civil Hospital, Khanna, from where he was referred to Rajindra Hospital, Patiala. 



Industry reacts to Cong win cautiously
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
With a Congress-Left government at the Centre becoming a certainty, the local industry has been cautious in its reaction. It has been maintaining a “wait and watch” approach, as the fears of a pro-labour Left will have a dominant say at the Centre.

The Ludhiana industry, which has been facing labour problems for the past one year, is particularly worried. Both the Congress as well as the Left parties are considered to be pro-labour. Industrialists, without wanting to be quoted, maintained that trade unions would again tend to have an upper hand, as they would have a friendly government at the Centre.

While there are fears about labour laws and disinvestment, the industry feels that by and large the reforms will continue and it will be difficult for any government to go back on these. Mr V.K. Goyal, Chief Executive of Vardhaman Spinning Mills, pointed out: “It is the Congress that under the stewardship of Dr Manmohan Singh initiated economic reforms. Now how can they go back?” He, however, said Dr Singh had been insisting that there should be a human face to the reforms, which was good.

Mr Omkar Singh Pahwa, Managing Director of Avon Cycles, said: “The industry has great expectations from the Congress. He pointed out: “The Congress is the oldest part of the country’s politics and has a good experience in governance.” He added that people were always unforgiving. “You either perform or perish, there is no other way,” Mr Pahwa remarked.

Mr Raj Awasthi, Managing Director of Sportking group of companies, said the role of the government and the industry was complimentary to each other. He pointed out that the Indian democracy had already evolved a foolproof system and whosoever came to power had little difficulty in running the government.

He maintained that people like Dr Manmohan Singh gave hope to the country in general and the industry in particular that everything would move on smoothly.

Mr Aneesh Dhawan of Gitane Exports hoped that the new government did not deviate from the reform process. He agreed that although the reform process was initiated by the Congress government only in 1991, now the party was dependent on the Left, who was very critical of and quite opposed to liberalisation. The new government, according to Mr Dahwan, would need to do a tightrope walking when it came to handling the economy.


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