L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


SC allows medical college to fill seats
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 9
In a significant decision the Supreme Court has permitted the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) to fill the seats of undergraduate courses on its own and from the merit list drawn from the entrance test conducted by the institution on all-India basis.

The CMCH had filed a review petition in the apex court against the government's notification making it mandatory for the institution to fill 50 per cent seats from the entrance test while the rest of the candidates could be admitted on the basis of merit obtained in the Common Pre-Medical Entrance Test (PMET) conducted by Baba Farid University of Health Sciences. The notification for admission to medical colleges in the state, including minority institutions, was issued by the government on the basis of recommendations made by Justice G.R. Majithia Committee, which was set up on the directions of the Supreme Court.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune on telephone, the CMCH Principal, Dr Mohan Verghese, who was on his way to Ludhiana from Delhi, said the judgement had come as a big relief and the uncertainty prevailing over the admission scenario had ended. He said the process of admission would, however, commence in a couple of days because the result of the All-India Entrance Test conducted by the CMCH on July 25 was yet to be finalised and merit list drawn up.

The acting director of CMCH, Dr John Pramod, said he could only confirm that the Supreme Court had admitted the plea of the institution because that was what had been conveyed to him from his colleagues, who were in Delhi. "We will come out with a detailed statement, quoting the apex court's judgement tomorrow and declare the result of the entrance test as well as announce the detailed schedule for admission to medical, dental and nursing courses shortly."



Tibet lake triggers panic in city
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
Following the reports of the formation of an artificial lake in Tibet, panic has gripped the residents of the city, who fear that flood water might flow through the Sutlej into the city.

Although there was little water in the river the entire day and the river bed was visible, the residents kept making inquiries about the possible flooding. The officials of the Drainage Department appealed to the residents not to panic as there was no danger of flooding from the Sutlej.

The Tribune Office, Ludhiana, also received hundreds of phone calls from the residents, who wanted to know whether an alert had been sounded in the city. The officials of the district administration, however, said that there was no red alert in the district and the Sutlej was flowing much below the danger mark.

Allaying the fears of the residents, Mr Subhash Chander Sood, XEN, Drainage Department, said that there should be no fear of floods in the river as water from the Tibet lake would first get collected at the Bhakra Dam, which had already recorded a very low water level. He said that lot of water was required at the dam to keep the power situation normal in the state in the coming months. 



Railways grapples with heavy rush
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
With most of the trains still remaining cancelled, the Railways is finding it difficult to cope with the massive rush of passengers that has piled up during the last one week. The railway authorities have advised people to avoid journey for a couple of days unless it is was an emergency.

A number of trains remained cancelled today also as tracks near Ambala have not been repaired. The Railway officials disclosed that it may take some days more for the normal traffic to resume on the track. Most trains running between Delhi-Amritsar and Delhi-Jammu have to bypass Ambala.

The Railway officials said, this had put additional pressure on the Dhuri-Jakhal route, as the trains are being diverted from Ludhiana onwards. "We have tried to ensure that maximum number of trains are run, but even that route (Dhuri-Jakhal) has some limitations as it is not possible to divert all trains through that route", said a senior official. The trains coming to Ludhiana from Delhi are taking at least three hours more than the normal time. This has led to a change in the train schedule. The journey between Delhi and Ludhiana which normally takes about five hours, now takes eight hours.

Added to it is the problem of a massive backlog. Some trains like the Malwa Express running between Jammu and Indore has been cancelled for the past several days. Since it is a day train its load has been shifted
to other trains. The Railway authorities said most of the trains are overcrowded.

According to some senior railway officials the problem could not have come at a worse time as there was a huge rush of Amarnath pilgrims also and several were stranded at Jammu.

The Railway officials said, it will take some more days for the traffic to streamline and the passenger rush to clear. They said, there was a possibility of some additional trains being run to clear the backlog of passengers. But till then they sought the cooperation of the people and suggested that they should avoid the rail travel if they do not have the scheduled reservation or have some urgent



Rainwater enters admn offices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
Rainwater collected in the office of Naib Tehsildar, Mr Parmjit Singh and Tehsildar (West) in the Mini Secretariat here today following a downpour that lashed the city in the morning hours today.

While the officials were finding it difficult to deal with the situation, the visitors had a difficult time wading through it. Even the record room of the administration was under ankle-deep water. In the morning the sweepers were seen clearing the rainwater with brooms. Still some water was collected in the offices.

Meanwhile, the visitors had anxious moments as they feared that their important documents would be damaged.



Town deluged after rain
D.B Chopra

Ahmedgarh, August 9
Just about 90 minutes of downpour at 6 this morning deluged the town as streets of various localities remained water-logged for hours, throwing life out of gear. The worst-hit were schoolchildren. Several had to miss their classes .

Among the localities which were water-logged were Guru Nanak Mohalla, the area near the old Delhi octroi and Jawahar Nagar Mohalla adjoining the Town Hall.

No sooner had the rain started that water started accumulating in the lanes of Jawahar Nagar where all streets were flooded, with water entering several houses. Women and children in several houses were seen throwing out water with the help of buckets. Even the Town Hall was water-logged .

In Guru Nanak Mohalla the level of water rose alarmingly due to sewerage blockage. To ward off the rain water, several houses have raised permanent brick barricades at their doors. But the deluge this morning crossed even these.

One of the major reasons for the flooding of Jawahar Nagar is the level of Railway Road has been raised. Several shops on the road had to be demolished and built again. All rainwater accumulating on the Railway

Road flows towards Jawahar Nagar Mohalla via Town Hall.

Mr Rajnish Sharma, President of the Municipal Council, said the indiscriminate raising of various street levels was done during the tenure of the previous president and he could not be blamed for this. Without outlining any immediate plan to tackle the situation , he said the civic body had acquired 17 bighas along Dehlij Road to facilitate the extension of drainage to somewhere near Maherna village.The project would cost around Rs 50 lakh but the civic body was facing an acute lack of funds , he added.



Baba Poohla in police remand
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, August 9
Controversial Nihang chief of the Tarna Dal, Baba Ajit Singh Poohla, was today remanded to police custody till August 11. He was declared proclaimed offender in this case in July, 1980. Judicial Magistrate Anshul Berry passed orders to send the accused in police custody after hearing the prosecution and defence counsel. He was produced in the court amidst tight security.

The prosecution claimed that the accused was booked under Section 307 of the IPC at the Kotwali police station, on July 1, 1980, following a complaint by Mr Gurcharan Singh. It was also claimed that the Nihang chief was at that time known as Jaswinder Singh, alias Good Fighter. Later, he changed his name to conceal his identity.

Mr Sanjiv Kochhar, Public Prosecutor, sought police remand of the accused on the plea that the rifle which was used to shoot at Gurcharan Singh was yet to be recovered.

However, defence counsel opposed the prosecution. He said there was nothing on record to suggest that Jaswinder Singh and Baba Ajit Singh Poohla were the same persons, as claimed by the police.



It’s political conspiracy, says Poohla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
The controversial Tarna Dal chief, Ajit Singh Poohla, today said that he had been falsely implicated in various criminal cases as part of a deep-rooted political conspiracy. He said that as he had waged a war against terrorism in the state and some terrorist organisations were also involved in this conspiracy.

Talking to mediapersons at the Kotwali police station here today, Poohla, who was arrested in connection with a 25-year-old attempt to murder case, said a relative of former OSD of Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, a retired Colonel and some terrorists were behind the conspiracy of framing him in various criminal cases.

Poohla said that a retired Colonel, who had "grabbed" the Baba Deep Singh gurdwara at Amritsar and was inimical to him, was the brain behind these cases. About the attempt to murder case registered against him at the Ludhiana Kotwali police station 25 years ago, he said he had nothing to do with this case. He said a former DSP of the Punjab Police who was posted at Ludhiana when this case had been registered had got him framed in this case, as there was an old family rivalry between Poohla and the then DSP's family.

Admitting that he had got his name changed from Jaswinder Singh when he had got baptised, Poohla, however, denied that he was named Jaswinder Singh Goodfighter. It may be mentioned here that the Kotwali police had registered an attempt to murder case against Jaswinder Singh Goodfighter and four others.

While the four other accused in this case had been later acquitted by the court, Jaswinder Singh Goodfighter had been declared a proclaimed offender (PO) by the court. The complainant in that case, Gurcharan Singh, has claimed that Ajit Singh Poohla is the same Jaswinder Singh Goodfighter.

Poohla said he belonged to the family of patriots and his father Nahar Singh was a freedom fighter. He said he was never absconding but was having police protection as he had been fighting against terrorism. Besides, he also remained the sarpanch of Poohla village for 10 years. He said he was not aware of the attempt to murder case registered at the Ludhiana Kotwali police station against him.

Kotwali police officials said that the case had been registered against him on July 1,1980, on the complaint of Gurcharan Singh who had alleged that on that day Jaswinder Singh Goodfighter along with four others had fired a shot at him with the intention to kill him. A passerby, Tarsem, had got injured in the firing.

DSP (City I) Mohan Lal and Kotwali SHO Sandeep Sharma said the court had sent Poohla in the police custody as the police had to recover the rifle with whom Poohla had allegedly fired shots. 



Bar meeting sees ugly scenes
Legal Correspondent 

Ludhiana, August 9
The District Bar Association's (DBA) general house meeting today witnessed ugly scenes when two lawyers manhandled each other. It all happened when Sandeep Kapoor reportedly misbehaved with the former DBA president, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda. One member even sought the resignation of the DBA president.

Mr Sandeep Kapoor, convener of the Organisation of Young Lawyers alleged that one Mr Dhanda's supporter had manhandled him at the meeting. ''We are not wearing bangles and will give a proper reply to the opponents'', he said .

On the other hand, Mr Dhanda supporters said Mr Kapoor had used filthy and derogatory language against Dhanda.

The meeting was called following the requisition of Advocate Kuldeep Sood. Earlier, the DBA resident, Mr Balwinder Goel, adjourned the meeting for want of quoram. But it was re-convened after a few minutes.

Mr Kuldeep Sood sought the resignation of the Bar president for not listening to the grievances of members. Mr A.K.Upadhaya asked the executive not to adjourn the general house meeting in haste. Even after the meeting ,Mr Sandeep Kapoor and Mr Pradeep Sharma had heated exchanges. 



Man buried under debris, dies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
A 25-year-old man died after he got buried under the debris of his house, that came crashing down following a downpour in the early hours today.
Kuldip Singh, a resident of Vishwakarma Colony, was sleeping on the first floor of his three storied house, when the roof of the first floor fell on him, killing him on the spot. The incident took place at 5am. The body was recovered by the family members.

The other members of the family had a narrow escape as they were sleeping on the ground floor. His mother Raksha Rani,however, got injured as some bricks also fell on her. His relatives Kamla, Ravinder Singh and Hardeep Singh escaped unhurt.



Trust adamant on reducing road width
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 9
The stay order issued by a lower court and subsequently confirmed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, notwithstanding, the Ludhiana Improvement Trust appears adamant on going ahead with reducing the width of the main road in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar on Pakhowal Road here.

The land thus spared would be utilised for residential and commercial purposes, including that for providing public utilities like fire brigade, bus stand and hospital, according to the LIT chairman Mr Ashok Singh Garcha.

Without making any reference to the court orders in this respect, he maintained that the drive against encroachments, carried out on August 5 was aimed against at the removal of temporary and permanent encroachments by dairies, motor workshops, building material stores and commercial establishments. Claiming that the action t by the trust authorities had drawn widespread appreciation from the area residents, he denied that access was obstructed to any residential or other property.

Mr Garcha, however, did not make it clear how the LIT would justify the use of almost 10 times land for commercial purposes in the 475- acre scheme of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar in brazen violation of the Punjab Town Improvement Act and rules made there under.

The area residents had levelled allegations that in its pursuit to make money from the sale of commercial property in the colony, the trust had already diverted 31.29 acres towards commercial buildings and another 8.33 acres was now proposed to be put to commercial use by reducing the road width by 100 ft. Under the relevant law, not more than 10.10 acres could be used for commercial buildings in the said colony.

Mr Garcha maintained that if the width of the road was maintained at 300 ft, only a few people having their properties on the road would be benefited whereas the slashed width and commercial exploitation of the land, thus made available, would result in generation of revenue in crores for the trust.

"In the event, the reduction in the width of the main road was not possible for any reasons, the trust will move to acquire a strip of 50ft to 100 ft along the road on the other side for putting it to the proposed commercial use," the chairman added.

The trustees are reported to be upset over the angry reaction of the area residents at their presence at the site all through. Some of the trustees are said to have retorted that they needed nobody's permission to accompany the enforcement staff.



Woman needs Rs1.5 lakh to save her son
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
For Raj Dulari there seems to be no end to tragedies. While she lost one of her son in a road accident last Divali , her another son has a hole in his heart and needs a valve replacement. She cannot afford his treatment which costs around Rs 1.5 lakh.

Vinod Kumar has been admitted to the Sigma Heart Centre. Though the hospital authorities have offered to provide substantial concession to him, Dulari cannot afford to pay even the minimum amount required by the hospital. Vinod Kumar used to earn his livelihood by fixing seat covers in cars, while his mother stitched them.

Raj Dulari's eldest son is living separately along with his family. Her husband died several years ago. Vinod was the only earning member in the family after the death of his brother. There is no bread earner left in the family now as long as Vinod is not operated upon.

Raj Dulari's daughter is mentally challenged. Someone told her that she should take her son to Shirdi, near Pune, for the treatment, where Satya Shri Sai Baba runs a free hospital . She claimed that she took a loan of Rs 5,000 on interest from a neighbour for taking her son to Shirdi. Since the condition of her son was serious she was advised to get her son admitted to a local hospital.

She got her son admitted to Sigma Heart Centre. Dr Amardeep Singh, Managing Director of the centre, disclosed that the hospital had offered to charge the minimum amount only. "But she can not afford to pay even that amount", Dr Amardeep said while adding, "we cannot afford free treatment as huge costs are involved in cardiac surgery. 



Women not protected against domestic violence, says NCW chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
The Dowry Act is not being "misused" rather it is being "overused", as the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has failed to provide respite to women, who are subjected to domestic violence and are being harassed by their in-laws.

This was stated by the Chairperson of National Commission for Women(NCW), Ms Poornima Advani, while joining the debate over the "misuse" of the Dowry Act. She was addressing audience at the "Seminar on the Status of Women in Punjab", organised at Ramgarhia Girls College here today.

She said many women were victims of domestic violence and there was no law to protect them from the same by penalising the in-laws and husband except the Dowry Act. Ms Advani said,"I want to make it clear to all men that no Indian woman wants to break her marriage and tries to bear everything till a limit. How can you say that she is misusing the Dowry Act?’’

Coming down heavily on the IPC, Ms Advani said it should rather be termed as "Victorian Penal Code", as it was prepared by the British in 1860 and Indian government had made amendments only twice by incorporating Sections 304-B(dowry death), 376 (Rape) and 498-A (Dowry harassment). Otherwise no amendments were made to protect the women's rights.

She urged upon the Union Government to pass the Domestic Violence Bill as Act. Warning the dowry seekers against the evil, Ms Advani said that the trend of gifts at daughter's marriage was again showing an upward trend, especially in Punjab. Speaking about the rape cases reported, she said the commission was also receiving maximum complaints about cases of sexual assault. But unfortunately, the conviction rate of these cases was only 8 to 10 per cent. The law required a medical examination of the victim, which showed a negative report if taken after six and eight hours of rape. She also said that it was unforgivable that the law gave the benefit of the doubt to the rapists. She said that in most of the rape cases, women were found to complain to the commission that the police was not registering a case against the accused.

Expressing her dissatisfaction towards the national media in taking up cases of women excesses, she said that the commission would now start reading the regional newspapers to get the true picture of condition of women.

About the sex-ratio in the state, the chairperson said that the female foeticide was a heinous crime being committed with impunity but the government machinery was busy in only tackling cases of typhoid gastro, cholera and other diseases. She called for the setting up of a special unit to check the female foeticide.

Terming the Ishmita acid case at Shimla as a sad incident, Ms Advani pulled up the Shimla police for not taking immediate action to cordon off the city. She said Shimla was cordoned off after four hours.

She said she saluted the young girls of college who left no stone unturned and came out on streets to force the police narrow down on the accused. She demanded a helpline at the college- level to safeguard them against any crime. 



Few lent their ears
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
Ironically, when a charged Ms Poornima Advani, Chairperson, NCW, was speaking at the seminar, womenfolk gathered in the seminar hall were busy talking to each other. Though there was a loud applause when she was thanked by a teacher of the college who recited some couplets in her honour, few listened to her lecture on status of women in Punjab.

While she was talking about the need of a women helpline in colleges, two elderly women were heard discussing the ‘‘excesses committed by daughters-in-law.’’

Ms Swaranjit Kaur, sarpanch of Nangal village near Dehlon, said that such seminars should have been organised in villages, where women "are treated like cattle".



Horticulture Dept officials honour Rinwa
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
Officials of the Horticulture Department today honoured former Parliamentary Secretary Dr Mohinder Kumar Rinwa for helping implement various programmes. The event was attended by the top brass of the department.

Mr Rinwa was honoured with a shawl, a sword, a citation and a memento. Horticulture Minister Jasjit Singh Randhawa could not come as he was busy overseeing the flood relief measures in his constituency.

Dr Lajwinder Singh Brar and Dr Avtar Singh, chairman and secretary of the Horticulture Officers Action Committee, respectively, said that they were meted out a step-motherly treatment by the previous government. He said during the Beant Singh government they were reclassified as Class I officers from Class III and their pay scale was brought on a par with that of the veterinary officers.

But all this was reversed during the Akali government. Their basic pay was pegged at Rs 5,480 as compared to Rs 7,880 of the veterinary officers. This was done in spite of the recommendations of the pay commission to observe pay parity with the latter.

They took up the issue with Dr Rinwa, who was made Parliamentary Secretary in charge of the Horticulture Department. He assured them that the anomaly would be removed. Despite stiff resistance from bureaucrats, Dr Rinwa got the needful done and the officers were given a pay scale of Rs 7,220.

Dr Rinwa, while thanking the gathering, said that despite the lack of funds the officers had worked round the clock to implement the crop diversity programme being pursued by the government. He said the government had so far spent Rs 28 crore in creating awareness about the need to diversify, but no money was given to the department.



Chicken festival at Park Plaza
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
Hotel Majestic Park Plaza is hosting the 'Chick n Chick', chicken festival from August 9 to August 22. The two- week festival will bring in the best chicken dishes of the world to Ludhiana. The festival will be open between 1 p.m to 10 p.m on all days.

The general manager of the hotel, Mr Nipun Vij, said here today that roasted, broiled, grilled or poached chicken combined with a wide range of herbs and spices make a delicious and nutritious meal. He said, it could be cooked in many different ways, either by itself or paired with other foods like grains, vegetables or fruits. It could also be used in appetisers, soups, salads, sandwiches and main dishes.

Mr Vij pointed out that chicken was an ideal source of protein as among meats it was one of the lowest in calories.

The dishes being made available at the festival included Chinese, French, British, Mexican, Caribbean, Keralite, North Indian (several of these), Portuguese, Chinese, Bangladeshi, the US, Russian, Thai and other varieties. 



New block of Ludhiana Dharamshala opened
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 9
The new block of the Yatri Nivas was thrown open to devotees at the Ludhiana Dharamshala in Chintpurni (Himachal Pradesh) at a well- attended function by Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal, president of the managing committee of the dharamshala, yesterday. The newly-constructed Shri Ram Lal Bhasin Satsang Hall was also inaugurated by Mr Balraj Bhasin, president of the SDP Sabha, on the occasion. This information was given by Mr Aggarwal here today.

Mr Kuldip Kumar, Minister for Cooperation, Himachal Pradesh, presided over the function, which was attended, among others by Mr Rakesh Pandey, Minister for Technical Education, Punjab, Mr Prem Mittal, senior Deputy Mayor of Ludhiana, Mr Ved Parkash Gupta, Mr Narendra Kumar Jain, Mr Surinder Kumar Gupta and Mr Devinder kumar Gupta.

Speaking on the occasion, the minister announced that the government had already finalised a project to tide over the scarcity of drinking water at Chintpurni and similarly a comprehensive sewerage and water disposal project was also in the pipeline.

Mr Aggarwal said efforts had been made towards providing better amenities to the devotees since he took over the committee in 1986.

He said that 12 new and well furnished rooms had been constructed in the new block of the Yatri Nivas at a cost of Rs 70 lakh, in addition to the construction of four spacious halls for community use. The dharamshala committee, like previous years, would organise a free langar for the devotees at Chintpurni during the 10-day long sawan festival.

Mr Pandey had announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh for the dharamshala from his discretionary fund, added Mr Aggarwal.



Sahit Akademi’s tribute to Bhanwr
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
The Punjabi Sahit Akademi has expressed grief on the demise of Jaswant Bhanwra, a prominent ustad, at a meeting here today.
Mr Gurbhajan Gill and Prof Ravinder Bhattal, senior vice-president and general secretary, said the Sangeet Martand awardee not only preserved folk music but also worked for Gurmat Sangeet.

He was instrumental in setting up Aduti Gurmat Sangeet Sammelan, Ludhiana, with the late Sant Baba Sucha Singh and Bibi Jasvir Kaur Khalsa.

They also said that Bhanwra composed music for the documentary film, Phulkari. Others present on the occasion were Dr Atamjit, Dr Joginder Singh Nirala and Prof Kulwant Jagraon.


Jagjit is bee board chief
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 9
Mr Jagjit Singh, Managing Director of Kashmir Apiaries, has been elected Chairman of the National Bee Board at a meeting of the board held in New Delhi recently. He has earlier worked on the post of Vice-Chairman of the board for two years. Sponsored by the Department of Horticultural, APEDA and NABARD, the board represents the bee-keepers from all over India.

Mr Jagjit Singh said he wanted to work for the development and promotion of bee-keeping in India and generate more self-employment opportunities for the youth. He said that his main target would be to help the board compete in the international market and maintain the quality standard. 



Not paid for poll duty 
Our Correspondent

Amloh, August 9
Employees who were put on election duty during the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee elections have not been paid remuneration for the work done in Fatehgarh Sahib district, according to Mr Balbir Singh Ghuman, district president the Government Teachers Union. He has urged the Deputy Commissioner to get the payment expedited.



Re-rolling industry seeks relief
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, August 9
Mr K.P.S Rana, Parliamentary Secretary and Mr Sandeep Hans, SDM, Amloh, today held a meeting with the representatives of the All India Steel Re-Rollers Association here to discuss the problems facing the industry.

It was pointed out in the meeting that the local industry like Hot Re-Rolling Mills, Induction Furnaces and Foundry Industry were passing through a crucial phase. The main problems included the release of long pending capital subsidy payment from the Industrial Department, demand to fix minimum charges of power on yearly basis and the rates once fixed should remain in force for at least two years.

The Re-Rolling Industry was continuous like induction furnaces and needed regular supply for 12 hours. If there was a power shortage then the number of weekly working days should be worked out as per the power availability.

It was also stressed that a committee of government and industry representatives should be formed to suggest remedial steps to save the industrial units of the state, which were shifting to the adjoining states which offered tax holidays to industrialists.

The value added tax (VAT), which is going to be imposed from April 1 next year, should consist of all state and central taxes to avoid harassment from various departments. The first stage tax on TOR/ANGLE/TMT should be withdrawn and be charged on the last stage.

The Ministry for Coal and the Chairman, Coal India Ltd, Kolkata, be requested to allot steel grade coal to the steel re-rolling mills of Punjab on a priority basis.

The Parliamentary Secretary assured the industrialists that he would take up the matter with the government and get their genuine demands accepted. 


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