C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Conman on the prowl
Dupes shopkeepers with fake credit cards
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Counterfeit international credit cards suspected to have been made in France have been in circulation in the city, Mumbai and Amritsar. Jagdev Singh alias, Jagat Singh Dhillon alias Jai, who had been “operating” in the region since his release from Mumbai jail in April, had used such cards in the city during the past couple of months and the local police has been after him since then.

The person targeted seven business establishments in Chandigarh and Amritsar within two months of getting released from the Mumbai jail where he was lodged to face the charges of cheating persons through fake credit cards..

The queries of Chandigarh police from Mumbai police had revealed that Jagdev of Malad had cheated several persons in Chandigarh and Amritsar. He is suspected to be part of an international fake credit card racket of using international credit cards of several companies in different countries. The cards are suspected to be made in France and then supplied to different persons who use them in different names. The fake international cards have original details of a credit card holder. The police suspects that the details are procured from the points where a credit card is swiped by a purchaser. These details are sent to the tricksters in France who make a new card with details procured from shopkeepers. The police suspects that certain shopkeepers must also be hand in glove with those operating this racket. The racket is causing a great loss to the banks who have to make payment but in return do not get the payment from the card user based abroad as in certain cases the card holder has not even visited the country from where a bill is raised.

The modus operandi of Jai and his co-accused Putrasingha Sachidanand, alias Mani, of Mumbai was revealed in a transaction in the financial capital of the country when they were arrested by the Mumbai police. They had gone to “Rachna Bar” in Daishar, West Mumbai, and tried to swipe one of the several cards in their possession. They offered to pay the owner of the bar 20 per cent of the amount. The owner of the bar informed the police who later arrested them after laying a trap. They had caused a loss of Rs 95,000 to the IDBI Bank by using the card in Mumbai.

This came forth during investigations by the Chandigarh police in a case registered against Jagdev in July on the complaint of the ICICI Bank which was duped of Rs 3,07,637 by the international cheat.

The Chandigarh police conducted a raid on Jagdev’s hide out in Malad but the man gave the local police a slip. Inquiries from the housing society in which he was living revealed that the person had left his flat in the society without leaving his new address. The local Police is in touch with the Mumbai police to arrest Jagdev but it has not been able get a clue about his whereabouts. While Jagdev was released on bail in April, Mani is still in jail. Jagdev has not been appearing in the court since he defrauded several establishments in Chandigarh and Amritsar. The Mumbai court had issued a non-bailable warrant against Jagdev for September 29.

Jagdev had also used passports issued from Brampton, Canada, in the names of Richard James, Robert Mathew and RA James.

He made purchases from Jain sons Jewellers in Mani Majra, Surindra Radios in Sector 22, Radhey Shyam Saree Centre, Sector 22, Classic Centre Shop in Mani Majra, Jeweller Krishna Sons in Sector 17, Titan Kapoor Jewellers, Tanishq Amritsar and Ganpati Jewellers in Mani Majra. Jagdev had used several cards in Chandigarh with different photographs on different cards.



Verka losing Rs 1.5 cr per month
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 26
The Verka milk plant here is losing at least Rs 1.5 crore every month due to the non-implementation of a new policy aimed at increasing the sale of Verka milk in Mohali, Chandigarh, Panchkula and Shimla by at least 40,000 litres a day.

The policy change which was given the nod by the Punjab Government in July this year had envisaged to break the monopolistic pattern of distribution of milk in this area and bring in more operators to increase competition and hike sales. The sale of Verka milk in these areas was to be increased from the current 1.75 lakh litres per day to at least 2.15 lakh litres a day.

Despite the requisite nod from the Milkfed Board of Governors and the government, the change in policy was not implemented. While officially various administrative reasons were being quoted to explain the delay, sources in Milkfed hinted at politically connected distributors trying to stall the implementation of the scheme.

‘‘Milkfed’s new policy would introduce competition, but in the present scenario, a distributor had a monopoly over his area. For example, there was a sole distributor for Mohali, Panchkula and Chandigarh. He was also distributing milk in Himachal Pradesh. Monopoly over a wide area had made the distributor powerful. Distributors did not want the policy to be implemented as it would dent their business interests,’’ said a Milkfed official.

The official pointed out that as part of the new policy, the Mohali, Panchkula and Chandigarh distribution area would be divided in zones and a substantial number of selling agents-cum-transporters would be appointed to distribute milk in each zone. This would increase both quantity and quality of distribution, he said.

Since there would be internal competition among the selling agents-cum-transporters, they would try to increase sales in their zone. Improvement in the quality of distribution is also expected. A cold chain would be introduced and milk would be transported from the plant to shops in insulated vans. In the distribution system being followed now, there was substantial deterioration in quality of milk during transportation in open trucks.

The three-year term of the current distributor for the area was to end on July 31. In the past one month, from August 3 till last week, the Mohali milk plant had advertised four times, inviting applications for appointment of selling agents-cum-transporters for supply of Verka milk and fresh milk products in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula for three years. The plant had to postpone the empanelment process each time. The last date for appointing new distributors was October 26 now.

Milkfed came into existence in 1973 to provide a remunerative milk market to milk producers in the state by value addition and marketing and to provide technical inputs to enhance milk production. The annual turnover of Milkfed had crossed the Rs 668 crore mark, with the milk plant at Mohali presently having sales turnover of around Rs 100 crore.



Diarrhoea vaccine soon: Bhan
Neelam Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Ranking communicable, lifestyle and children’s diseases as the major areas of concern for the future, the Secretary of Department of Biotechnology, Prof M.K. Bhan has disclosed that work is going on in major research institutes in the country for developing various vaccines, many of which have passed the clinical testing stage. Talking to The Tribune at the Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) here today, Professor Bhan said among the earliest vaccines to hit Indian markets (within next two years) was that against diarrhoea.

Developed by Professor Bhan along with Dr Durga Rao of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and with additional collaboration with the USA, the rotavirus vaccine had passed all clinical tests successfully and an efficacy study would be taken up by the end of this year before finally introducing it in the market.

“It will be a preventive vaccine against diarrhoea rather than curative medicine that is currently available in the market. The doses of the vaccine given to children early in their lives will make them immune to the disease,” explained Professor Bhan.

In addition to this, under the aegis of the DBT, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) would begin clinical testing of the vaccine against the HIV AIDS in a couple of months. To fight cholera in the country, IMTECH had developed the genetically modified vaccine against disease, which Dr Bhan said was currently undergoing clinical trials in Chennai.

“Apart from public health, we are focusing on promoting the setting up of biotechnology parks in various states. Spread over a huge area, the parks have the space for business houses and medicine plants for the promotion of biotechnology,” he added.

Earlier, delivering the CSIR’s foundation day lecture at IMTECH on “Is our current model of science appropriate for societal development”, Professor Bhan stressed that lack of originality of devising solutions for our public health problems was the main weakness of Indian medicine and scientific community. “The current pool of Grade A scientists working in the country is extremely less and I think it is a crisis situation. It becomes crucial then that their work should reach maximum people,” he said.

Professor Bhan said the interdisciplinary approach among medical, scientific and technological areas was missing and experts in each field was working in compartments. “Indians are neither able to articulate the problems well nor are they able to spot the challenges that lie ahead. That is why we are unable to find appropriate solutions to our problems,” he said. He said benefits of technological advancement had not reached the masses so far as vaccination and immunisation programmes had not reached more than 50 per cent of the target population. 



CSIR foundation day celebrated
Tribune News Service

The Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology, Prof M.K. Bhan, takes a round of laboratories at IMTECH in Chandigarh on Sunday.
The Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology, Prof M.K. Bhan, (left) takes a round of laboratories at IMTECH in Chandigarh on Sunday. Prof Tapan Chakravarty of IMTECH (centre) explains a point to him. Prof N.K. Ganguly, Director-General, ICMR, is also seen.

Chandigarh, September 26
The 62nd foundation day of the CSIR was celebrated at the Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) here today. Laboratories of the research institute were kept open for the general public and many schoolchildren visited IMTECH to know more about the recent advancements.

The Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology, Prof M.K. Bhan, delivered the foundation day lecture in the evening. The Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, Prof V.S. Ramamurthy, gave a formal introduction of Professor Bhan.

Professor Ramamurthy talked about public-private collaboration in science and technology and emphasised that India should devise its own model of healthcare facilities rather than aping it from other countries. The Director of IMTECH, Dr Amit Ghosh, welcomed the guests and apprised them of the recent works done by the institute.

The CSIR foundation day was also celebrated at the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO). The CSIO campus was opened to the general public in the morning.

A large number of visitors, including students from schools, engineering colleges and the university, went around various laboratories of the organisation.

They were given an opportunity to see live demonstration of instruments developed at the CSIO and a chance to interact with the scientists.

In the afternoon, a lecture by Prof O.P. Bajpai, Director, National Institute of Technical Teachers’ Training and Research, Chandigarh, on hyper-spectral imaging, which was organised said hyper-spectral imaging, which was spectral signature of a material was one of the modern techniques for exploration using satellites. He explained that hyper-spectral imaging found uses in diverse applications like medical diagnosis, target detection and recognition, chemical detection and cloud tracking, earth resources and remote sensing. He elaborated the technical issues and applications associated with multispectral and hyper-spectral imaging.

In the evening, staff members of the CSIO, who had completed 25 years of regular service at the CSIR and who had retired during the period from September, 2003 to August 2004 were honoured with mementoes and shawls. The programme concluded with prize distribution function. Winners of various competitions held earlier as part of the CSIR foundation day and Hindi Fortnight celebrations were awarded.

Mr J.K. Chhabra, senior scientist, CSIO, welcomed the chief guest. He highlighted some of the upcoming, new and revolutionary technologies. He presented an overview of future plans of the organisation.



Spice penalised for harassing mobile user
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The Permanent Lok Adalat, (Public Utility Services) has penalised Spice Communications Private Limited for harassing a resident of Mundi Kharar in Ropar district regarding the payment of his mobile bill.

In their order, Mr R.P. Bajaj, chairman, and Mr JS Kohli and Mr KC Jaggi, both members, while dismissing the application of the mobile company, imposed costs of Rs 1,000 for harassment to Mr Surinder Kumar Verma.

It may be recalled that in its application before the adalat, the company had claimed that a bill of Rs 5,283 was pending against Mr Verma. Going a step further, the company served a legal notice on Mr Verma asking him to deposit the bill with interest.

However, in his reply, Mr Verma contended that he had paid the bill amounting to Rs 4,761 through cheque on May 13 last year. The payment was accepted as full and final settlement of the bill, Mr Verma said adding that the complaint had been brought against him by the company to harass him.

Accepting the contention of Mr Verma, Spice’s representative withdrew the case. However, the adalat ruled that the company had no right to serve the legal notice and file the case when Mr Verma had paid the bill over an year ago.



NCC may forge ties with 6 more nations on youth exchange
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

NCC Additional Director-General, Major-Gen Rakesh Dass, interacts with Naval Wing cadets in Chandigarh on Sunday.
NCC Additional Director-General, Major-Gen Rakesh Dass (right), interacts with Naval Wing cadets in Chandigarh on Sunday. — Tribune photo by Pankaj Sharma

Chandigarh, September 26
The National Cadet Corps is in the process of establishing ties with six more foreign countries having similar establishments for undertaking Youth Exchange Programmes (YEP).

"The United States, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are among the countries with which we are working out agreements for YEP," Major-Gen Rakesh Dass, Additional Director- General, NCC, told The Tribune here today.

Such programmes are considered peak of training and achievements in the NCC and only the best are selected after an elaborate screening process.

General Dass, who made a brief halt in the city to review Naval NCC training activities during a tour of the region, said that the NCC was presently undertaking YEP with 10 countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, Singapore and some SAARC countries.

He said that Pakistan too had approached India seeking inputs for setting up a similar establishment in that country.

A detailed briefing was organised by the NCC Directorate General for the Pakistani Military Attache, but there has been no development since.

"If such an organisation is set up in Pakistan, there is a possibility of having YEP with them, which would help in developing harmony and understanding between the youth of the two countries," he said.

Another important development in the NCC, he said, is to allow cadets to undertake solo flying in powered aircraft.

The selection and training process for this is underway and additional mircolite aircraft are being procured to meet training requirements. The NCC is also procuring powered gliders.

He said that two NCC officers were sent as observers to the World Military Gliding Competition held in Italy earlier this year.

"They have come back with a lot of ideas and information which can be put to good use in our organisation," he said.

Stating that the performance of shooting teams in national championships has been improving consistently, General Dass said that more point-22 rifles precision rifles were being imported.

"We are adding about 150 more rifles to the 40 we already have. The NCC has 95 groups all over the country and two rifles with be authorised per group," he added.

Meanwhile, the vintage point-303 bolt action rifles are being replaced with the 7.62 mm SLRs for regular training.

Stressing that the NCC's focus is on intake of quality, he said that the organisation was trying to reach out to private institutions and schools for intake of better people.

He said that for the first time last year, the quota of NCC cadets for a commission in the armed forces was not only fully subscribed, but additional NCC cadets made it to the services through the regular process.



GCM scheduled to re-assemble on Oct 7
Tribune News Service

Retired Parachute Regiment and Special Forces officers at a get-together organised at the Defence Services Officers Institute in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Retired Parachute Regiment and Special Forces officers at a get-together organised at the Defence Services Officers Institute in Chandigarh on Sunday. — Tribune photo  Pardeep Tewari

Chandigarh, September 26
The General Court Martial trying Col Anil Sahgal on charges of professional impropriety in the tehelka case is scheduled to re-assemble at Chandimandir on October 7.

The court had been adjourned sine die on September 6 after one of the court members was admitted to hospital on account of a cardiac disorder. Prosecution counsel Arvind Moudgil said that the prosecution would summon journalists from tehelka.com, who had carried out a sting operation to expose corruption in defence deals, for deposition before the court.

Meanwhile, Colonel Sahgal is learnt to have written another letter to the court’s confirming authority, maintaining that the GCM has no jurisdiction to try him as the offence as become time-barred.

He has also maintained that the findings and recommendations of the GOC-in-C Western Command, which stated him to be guilty of demanding and accepting bribes from fictitious arms dealers, were placed before the court in contravention to Army Rules. He maintained that this had influenced and prejudiced the court against him and that he could not expect a fair trial.

These claims, raised before the court earlier, were rejected by the GCM.



Memorable day for paratroopers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
It was a memorable time for former paratroopers and special forces officers as they assembled at the Defence Services Officers Institute for a social get-together here today.

About 40 officers and their families based in Chandigarh and its vicinity attended the function. A couple of officers drove down from Ludhiana and Jalandhar.

Among those present were Major-Gen Ranjit Herr, president of the Chandigarh Chapter of the Paratroopers Association, Major-Gen H.S. Talwar, Brig Harjinder Singh, Brig B.S. Dayal, Brig Jagmeet Singh and Brig P S Pannu.

The chapter was established in October, 2000, as a platform for social interaction to keep retired officers up to date on regimental matters and personal affairs .

Such get-togethers are organised once in about six months. Lieut-Gen R S Dayal (retd) is the association's chief patron.

Two special forces units currently deployed in Jammu and Kashmir on counter-insurgency operations had sent photographs of the units in action, which were also displayed on the occasion.



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Apropos of the news item “Increase in number of facial injuries, says Army study”, published on September 23, excerpts of the study, which was presented at the World Military Dental Congress in New Delhi before an audience comprising military and civilian experts, were obtained from open sources and were not released by the Command Military Dental Centre, Chandimandir.



Tributes paid to Acharya Bhikshu
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 26
Life acquires a meaning when we do not emphasise on collecting material goods but prefer to sacrifice these for a cause. This was stated by Muni Vinay Kumar Alok at a function held at Tagore Theatre to mark the bicentenary of nirvana of Acharya Bhikshu.

Paying tributes to Acharya Bhikshu, the Muni said he set the highest standard of discipline by his own example. Acharya Bhikshu showed the way from desire to desirelessness. He said the common man should understand and practise true religion which would take him to the path of salvation.

Dr Kewal Krishan, of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, who was the chief guest, said Acharya Bhikshu was a saint who followed what he preached. As a Jain acharya his philosophy stood the test of time.

Mr H.S. Hanspal, President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), said, “The Bhikshu way of life has relevance in Punjab. There cannot be purity of mind without observing purity in food and drinks. Laying stress on renunciation, Acharya Bhikshu signified a rare brand of saints, whose only aim of life was to realise noble aims”.

Additional DGP Chandra Shekhar said, “Acharya’s life was devoted to penance and meditation”.

Shri Bansi Lal , chief of the Punjab Terapathi Sabha, said, “Bhikshu’s philosophy is a significant chapter in human history.”

Dr Karam Avtar Singh, chairman, Acharya Bhikshu Bicentenary Nirvana Samaroh Samiti and Muni Abhay Kumar also spoke.

Dr Kewal Krishan also released a calendar.



Two books on PM released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Mr H.K. Dua, Editor-in-Chief of the Tribune group of newspapers, today took a swipe at Indian politicians, most of whom, he said, were busy promoting their family interests rather than those of the country.

Speaking after releasing a book, “Vilakhan Shakhshiat — Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh” edited by B.S. Bir, Ravinder Singh Sodhi and Sohinderbir Sethi, Mr Dua recalled that our gurus had sacrificed their families for the sake of the country. But today’s politicians seemed to believe in putting their families above the country. He also regretted that the allround fall in public morality was such that a gentleman had to think twice before joining politics.

Referring to the title of the other book, “Pauna Aadmi” authored by B.S. Bir, which was released by former Chief Secretary, Punjab, Dr Amrik Singh Pooni, Mr Dua observed that there could not have been a more apt description of today’s politician.

Mr Dua described Dr Manmohan Singh as a “thorough gentleman” who had promised to do everything possible to improve the lot of the common man. People too had high hopes from the Prime Minister.

The function to release the two books was held at the Chandigarh Press Club and was attended by about 250 writers from all over the region.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Dr Gurdarshan Gasso, Dr Gurpal Singh Sandhu, Dr Sharanjit Kaur, Rajinder Singh Bhasin, Dr Satish Verma and Prof Kuldip Kaur Tiwana.

Mr Dua also presented mementoes to the writers.



Meeting reviews Navratra mela arrangements
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 26
A meeting was convened here today to finalise the arrangements for holding the Navratra mela at the Mansa Devi temple from October 14 to 22.

Chairing the meeting, the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neelam Pradeep Kasni, directed officials of the Health Department to arrange oxygen cylinders, medical staff and ambulance round the clock for the devotees. She also said fogging in the temple should be carried out to keep the area free from mosquitoes and flies. She directed the Food Inspector to inspect the sale of “prasad” in the shops near the temple everyday.

She asked the Public Relations Department to set up an information bureau to keep the devotees informed about the programme during the mela. The department will also organise an exhibition. The transport department was also instructed to run special buses during the week-long mela.

While the Public Heath Department was asked to carry out repairs of all roads leading to the shrine, the Electricity Department was directed to ensure supply all through the day.

At the meeting, the SP, Ms Mamta Singh, said more police personnel would be deployed during the mela. While metal detectors would be installed at the main entrance of the temple, Home Guards would assist police personnel.



Effigies of Amarinder, Mann burnt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Bharatiya Janta Yuva Morcha activists burnt effigies of Simranjeet Singh Mann and Capt Amarinder Singh for allegedly attacking members of the Tiranga Yatra at Rajpura and Ludhiana. At least 500 activists of the morcha assembled at Tribune Chowk. Mr Shashi Shankar Tiwari, vice-president of the morcha, said certain politicians had an hidden agenda and were working against the harmony of the country.



80-yr-old falls from cycle, dies
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 26
An 80-year-old cyclist who was on way to Chandigarh from Daun village in Kharar was killed after he fell off the cycle here this afternoon.

The deceased, Bachan Singh, a resident of Attawa village was returning from Daun gurdwara when he lost consciousness and fell. He sustained head injuries and died on way to PGI.



Shramdaan camp ends
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 26
The two-week shramdaan camp organised at Commando Complex, Phase IX, here ended with a cultural function and prize distribution ceremony today. The camp was organised to keep the complex area and family quarters clean.

The best four houses from among the 128 family quarters in the complex were selected and awarded. Ten consolation prizes were also given.



A clarification
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The chartered accountant who was appointed by the Company Law Board, New Delhi, along with another person to examine records of the Chandigarh Club was Mr Naveen Soni and not what was erroneously published in these columns yesterday.



One arrested for stealing equipment from PTL
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 26
Manjit Singh, a resident of Randhawa Nagar Colony, Kharar, was arrested here today on charges of stealing expensive equipment from Punjab Tractor Limited.

On September 24, the Punjab Tractor Limited (PTL) here had asked the Mohali police to take action against two persons who had allegedly been caught red handed by the management the night before while stealing costly equipment out of the factory premises. While one of the two persons, Gurpreet, had been arrested by the police the same day, his accomplice Manjit was arrested today.

The management has related that two former part time employees of the company had been smuggling tractor parts out of the factory premises every night for the past few days. “The two would take self starters and alternators from inside the factory and throw these in an adjacent vacant plot. These parts would then be lifted by the other persons involved in the theft,” said a police source.

The management had deputed special security staff last night in plain clothes to nab the culprits. The security men at the factory nabbed one of them while the other one managed to escape.



Accident victim dies at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
Twenty-year-old Nidhi from Yamunanagar today succumbed to injuries in the PGI two days after the motor-cycle she was pillion riding on helmetless was hit by a Punjab Roadways bus at the Sector 22 and 23 dividing road.

Nidhi worked with a private company in Sector 34. She was going on a bike with a person identified as Saurabh when they met with the accident. Saurabh, who had a helmet on, survived the accident.

Woman dies

Twenty-year-old Rita of Bijli Colony, Sector 28, today died under mysterious circumstances in the Sector 16 hospital where she was taken after she suddenly fell ill.

According to the police, the cause of the death would be ascertained after a post-mortem examination tomorrow. Rita was living with her mother after she was divorced recently.

Cop hurt

A traffic police Constable, Narinder, fractured his leg when he was hit by a scooter while stopping it for checking at the Railway Light Point. He was taken to the GMCH, Sector 32. No case has yet been registered according to the SHO of the Mani Majra Police Station.


Arjun, Simran, Dev Karan, Ankush, Shivran, Anoop, Varun and an unidentified youth allegedly assaulted Harjot Singh of Sector 44 in front of his house. They also threatened him. They have been arrested after being booked under Sections 147, 149, 323, 506 of the IPC.

Mobile thief arrested

Meenu of Sector 37 has been arrested for allegedly stealing a mobile phone from the Sector 35-based Shaan Beauty Parlour where she had gone for a hair cut. The owner of the saloon allegedly caught the woman and called the police. The woman was taken to the Sector 36 police station where a woman Constable recovered the stolen mobile hidden in her clothes.


Two gold bangles, one ring and Rs 2300 in cash have been stolen from the house of one Baldev Singh of Ram Darbar, Phase II. The thieves allegedly broke the lock of his house while he was away.

Car stolen

An Esteem car has been stolen from the New OPD Block at PGI and a scooter was lifted from in front of House Number 1275, Sector 34.



Excise system defective, says association
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26
The Income Tax and Sales Tax Bar Association on Sunday termed the existing system of assessment by the UT Excise and Taxation Department as defective.

According to a press note, at the time of yearly assessment, the sales tax payments made through cheques and drafts were required to be verified from the daily collection register maintained at the department, which was usually in bad shape and did not match with the records of the Central Treasury. This put dealers at the mercy of the department, it said.


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