L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Militant Babla’s accomplice held
Vijay Bansal

Jagraon, September 27
The Jagraon police has made another important breakthrough in the case involving KCF militant Gursewak Singh Babla with the arrest of his accomplice Jeet Singh, alias Jeeta, son of Sukhdev Singh of Sangrur district.

Jeeta was arrested from the Akhara Canal bridge in the early hours today where he had come to deliver a consignment of opium. He was to visit his family at Basti Shiv Nagar near Sangrur, after the deal. A country-made pistol, along with two cartridges and 200 gms of opium were recovered from Jeeta.

He had been arrested under Sections 25/54 and 59 of the Arms Act, 379 and 411, IPC, at Raikot but gave the slip to the police party, which arrested Babla.

Two fresh cases have been registered against Jeeta under Sections 25/54 and 59 of Arms Act and 18 and 62.85 of the NDPS Act at the Sadar police station, Jagraon.

Jeeta told the police that Babla had contacted him a week after his escape. Two cases related to terrorist activities had been registered against him at Sangrur and Mehal Kalan, Barnala district. He has been involved in drug smuggling also.

He had been convicted in a case under Sections 15/61 and 85 of the NDPS Act and sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment in 2002. He had jumped bail in this case and was declared a proclaimed offender.

He had been living with his aunt Balbir Kaur, wife of Bhura Singh of Shiv Nagar, Ubbowal Road, Sangrur, under a false name Bhola Singh — since he was declared a proclaimed offender.

Jeeta had been in touch with Babla while the latter was in jail. He met Babla on August 13, 2004, when he came to Ludhiana on a court summon. Both of them exchanged their telephone numbers. Babla had intimated Jeeta regarding his intention to escape in near future. On September 9, 2004, Babla contacted Jeeta from Jalandhar and both met at Sangrur. Jeeta handed over a .38-bore revolver to Babla, which he had kept for a long time. Jeeta also stole a car from the Sangrur bus stand.

According to Jeeta, they had plans to commit a couple of robberies before Babla could manage to go abroad and Jeeta could build a house for himself.

Babla had stayed at Jalandhar at three hotels after his escape — Hotel Surinder Plaza, Hotel Golden Avenue and Prince Guest House. During his stay at Hotel Surinder Plaza, his accomplice Kulwant Kaur also stayed with him. Kulwant Kaur was later arrested by the Delhi police.

Babla had also met his sister-in-law Jaswinder Kaur at Udaykaran village, near Muktsar, and the family of Yadwinder Singh, alias Lucky, at Salana village, near Payal, while on the run. Action would be initiated against all those persons who provided shelter and support to Babla after his escape.

A local court has ordered that Babla be kept under medical supervision till he is declared fit to be taken on remand. Today, he is being shifted to Rajindra Hospital, Patiala.



Student develops device to detect power theft
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
At last the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) can draw some hope for its survival from the theft detection device developed by a student of electrical engineering Suraj Manchanda. The device can save the board from pilferage and reduce the theft of electrical energy. The device was developed after Manchanda learnt from his teachers that over 20 per cent of the energy produced was stolen by consumers by hoodwinking officials of the department.

The theft detection device will not only detect the theft but also pinpoint the area from where the power is being stolen and transmit a signal to a nearby substation through P.L.C (Power Line Communication) System. All attempts of stealing electrical energy will automatically raise an alarm at the control centre and help officials of the distribution companies to catch the culprit red-handed, says Manchanda, who is studying in B.Tech IInd year (Electrical) at the Bhutta College of Engineering, Alamgir Road, Dehlon.

Besides this the device will also prevent consumers from drawing more than the sanctioned load. This device supports a unique function of tripping whenever a consumer tries to use excess amount of electrical energy than sanctioned. This instrument will also keep a record of number of attempts made to steal the power or draw more than the sanctioned load. This record will help the board officials to levy fines on the erring consumer depending upon the number of attempts to hoodwink the system. Once under pressure the illegal users will get their sanctioned load increased and this in turn will actually start generating revenues of the state electricity board or of the private electricity distribution agencies.

The device that has been tested on a computer with the help of Multi Sim software developed and used in the USA has been submitted to the Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY) by Manchanda. Proudly disclosing the uses of the device developed by him, he told Ludhiana Tribune that some other benefits of the device include preventing fire due to short-circuit. In case of short circuits the device trips and automatically shuts off the main supply.

This device is immune to any magnetic or remote waves so it cannot be easily tempered with. But what is most fascinating is the fact that being small the device can be installed within the existing electric meter and costs only a few hundred rupees that can be charged from the consumers with the security deposit. The device uses the power cables to communicate between the meter and the sub-station and so no additional wiring is required for the purpose, Manchanda disclosed.

This is not Manchanda’s first invention; he had developed an automatic circuit tripper earlier this year that is used for regulating use of power on main connections and sub-connections.



GNDEC teachers continue dharna
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 27
Teachers of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College (GNDEC) here continued with their peace protest today for the ninth day, wearing black badges against the suspension orders of Dr J.N. Jha.

Meanwhile, some senior students of the college were taking some classes. These student teachers also took the roll call.

The students went to the teachers and requested them to teach, but the teachers said that they are awaiting a decision of the management regarding their demand of reinstating Dr Jha.



Paddy procurement starts
Yield higher this year, says Birmi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
Purchase of paddy by government procurement agencies has started from today in all 100 mandis of the district. Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab, inaugurated the purchase at Mandi Salem Tabri by starting the auction in the presence of the officers concerned, arhtias and farmers.

At Khanna, Mrs Harbans Kaur Dulo, Parliamentary Secretary, and Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, inaugurated the purchase.

Mr Birmi said the government had made elaborate arrangements for the purchase of paddy in all mandis of the state and the whole arrival of paddy within the specified limit would be purchased on the same day. Mr. Birmi directed the officers of the purchasing agencies and the Mandi Board to remain available round-the-clock.

He also asked the inspectors of the Mandi Board to ensure correct measurement of the paddy and any agent or contractor caught fleecing the farmers by weighing less would not be spared.

He directed the officers to give sufficient number of tarpaulin sheets to  each arhtiya. Mr Birmi also listened to the suggestions of the farmers.

This year the yield of paddy was higher when compared to last year and the farmers were satisfied. Last year 39,796 mt. tonnes of paddy was purchased in Salem Tabri Mandi and today on the first day 1,000 mt. tonnes of paddy was expected to be purchased.

Mr Charanjit Singh, secretary, market committee, Mr Dharam Pal, president, Arhtyas Association, were also present.

Later, Mr Birmi launched the government purchase in Grain Mandi, Sahnewal. He asked the farmers to harvest properly matured and dry crop, only during the day time and bring clean and dry paddy to mandis.

Among others who were present in the mandi were Rmesh Kumar Pappu, President, Municipal Council and Mr Darshan Singh Birmi.



Supplementary exam begins, students feel cheated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 27
Hundreds of students whose results were recently revised from the fail to compartment have been suffering on account of the indifferent attitude of the university authorities. The results were declared a few days before the commencement of the supplementary examination which they were supposed to avail.

The girl students appearing for compartment examination which start tomorrow told Ludhiana Tribune that they had been given a very short time to prepare for the exam. They further said, “the examination are going to start from September 27 and the results were declared on September 15. Valuable time was wasted while sending admission forms, arranging for admission fees, and all this has caused unbearable stress on us as we had to go to Chandigarh to get our roll numbers. The university has played a cruel joke on us. According to the rules, were should at least get one month to study”.

Prof K.B.S. Sodhi, former president, PCCTU, and professor G.G.N. Khalsa College, said a large number of students had complained that the university had not given much time to them for preparing for the compartment examination. “Justice and fair play demands that they be given another chance by conducting a special examination,” Mr Sodhi said in a letter written to the Vice-Chancellor, Mr K.N. Pathak, Panjab University.



Defamation case against Tytler
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 27
Accusing the Union Minister for NRI Affairs, Mr Jagdish Tytler, of levelling false, frivolous and defamatory allegations against him in a programme on NDTV, a lawyer of the Supreme Court, Mr Harvinder Singh Phoolka, here today filed a defamation case against the latter before the Chief Judicial Magistrate.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr S.S. Dhaliwal, entrusted the case to the Judicial Magistrate, Mr Jasbir Singh, who adjourned the case for recording preliminary evidence of the complainant on October 4.

Mr Phoolka said in the complaint, filed under Section 500 of the IPC, that he and Tytler were invited by NDTV to participate in a discussion in its programme “Khabron ki Khabar” in Hindi and in English programme titled “The X factor” on September 7.

He said the TV channel had invited them for discussion on the general issue as to why in India, whenever large-scale riots take place, guilty are not punished. The anchor of the programme, initiated the discussion with the remarks that the discussion would be on the question as to why the guilty — whether in Delhi or Gujarat riots — were not punished. He then addressed a question to Mr Tytler as to why it was common that the witnesses turn hostile.

Strangely, instead of proceeding with the discussion on the topic generally, the accused deliberately, knowing and with the intention to harm the reputation of Mr Phoolka started levelling imputations against him, he alleged.

He further alleged in the complaint that Mr Tytler threatened him and used such remarks that the TV channel switched off its camera. But the accused lost his patience and continued intimidating him.

In reply to a question as to why he had not filed the case in Delhi, where he was practising, Mr Phoolka said he received numerous calls from Ludhiana after the programme and witnesses would come to court for deposing fearlessly in Ludhiana.



MC, police blame each other for traffic chaos
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
Traffic chaos no longer makes any news here. It does not even provoke any public anger. Because traffic chaos has become the norm of the day. The problem becomes the worse the moment lights go off and it turns out to be a free for all at all important crossings like Bharat Nagar Chowk and Bhaibala Chowk.

The traffic police has been maintaining that it is faced with the paucity of staff. Traffic police sources said wherever the traffic police found any problem it deputed staff there, but it was not possible to man all crossings all the time.

Residents have been demanding for the installation of solar or battery-operated lights along with traffic lights. However, the Municipal Corporation has failed to make any progress in the project.

At a number of crossings traffic chaos due to power failure is an usual sight. It takes at least 15 minutes for a traffic cop to restore order on the roads.

Although it may not be possible for the corporation to install the solar or battery-operated lights on all crossings, there are some crossings which need urgent attention. These include the Bharat Nagar crossing, Bhaibala Chowk, the Pakhowal Road crossing at Malhar Road.

Certain residents told The Tribune that the cuts had become a routine and everybody knows when the light will go off. Traffic police personnel should be deployed in advance to prevent any chaos. The traffic police and the corporation must stop blaming each other while the public continues to suffer.



MCPI against privatisation
Tribune News Service

Doraha, September 27
A meeting of the state Committee of the MCPI was organised under the presidentship of Comrade Nidhan Singh Gill of Bathinda, yesterday at Doraha.

The meeting was addressed by Com Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, All-India General Secretary of MCPI, Com Kuldeep Singh, Secretary State Committee of MCPI, Com Prem Singh Bhanger, Com Malkit Singh, Com Mangat Ram Longwal, Com Labh Singh Bhanger, Com Lakhwinder Singh Buani, Com Kirpal Singh Hans, Com Pawan Kumar Kaushal and Com Jandeep Kaushal.

They spoke against the policy of imperialist globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation adopted by the NPA government led by the Congress. “This is unfortunate,” they said, “ that the so-called progressive government is openly inviting foreign capital, multinational companies and agents of multilateral agencies of the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO which are highly deterimental to the interests of the working people.” For this they have called upon the CPI and CPM leadership to leave the duplicate stand and reminded Jyoti Basu that not only Montek Singh Ahluwalia but Dr Manmohan Singh is a World Bank — Man. They have also urged upon these parties that they should oppose the anti-people and anti-worker policies of the government by leaving the thought of serving the capitalist government.

The state committee has also criticised BJP for projecting Vir Sarvarkar as a hero of the national struggle who had tendered apology to the British government, twice. Instead the Gadr party heroes like Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna, Baba Gurmukh Singh, Hardial Singh and others should be projected as heroes who never bowed before British Imperialism. Now BJP is spreading communalism under the banner of Tri-colour.

The state committee has also expressed concern over the worsening power supply in the state. They called it a criminal negligence as due to the lack of coal three thermal power plants are on the verge of closure and the mismanagement and misplanning are the result of this presentness. They said that the power supply should be improved and privatisation should be stopped.

For the purpose they have demanded the support of state-level convention of four left parties as MCPI, CPM (Pasla), CPI MC (Liberation) and the Forward Bloc. They have also appreciated the efforts of these parties to assemble at Desh Bhagat Hall at Jalandhar on October 3 related to the Punjab issues for which they have demanded maximum participation of the people.



He could not fit into alien culture and returned
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 27
Two local youths have shown a deep concern about the impact of the western culture on the minds of those Indians who had shifted to the first world countries during the past decade. Not acclimatizing with the western culture, one of them returned from England while the second has decided to convey message of Universal Fraternity through a three-mile run for peace and diversity in the Forgo, North Dakota on the eve of Gandhi Jyanti.

Mr Jatinder Kumar Laddi a Youth Congress leader of local town went to England recently to settle there permanently but he changed his mind after observing the socio-cultural scenario there and returned to India along with other members of his family. “Though I had planned to settle in England only for a brighter future for my son, apprehensions about the darker side of his life compelled us return to our origin.” Mr Laddi was pained to observe the social behavior of the younger generations in the England who had recently left India in the search of greener pastures.

Mr Lamas Kumar Sharma an Electronics Engineer settled permanently in the USA made more startling revelations. Referring to a survey made by him in the USA more than 90 per cent of NRIs of the USA had no concern for their religion and culture. “What pained me more was that most of the girls admitted that they were on wrong track but their parents could do nothing for the fear of law there. There wards often threaten to calls police in case some one dared ask them mend their ways.” Said Mr Lamas.

Showing concern over the future of the Indian settled in the first world countries, Mr Lamas said that the younger generation should be educated about their origin in respect of their culture and social bonds. He placed Islam and Sikhism in front line when it came to the question of imparting fundamentals of the religion to the younger generations.

To make the NRIs settled in the America aware about their role towards the preservation of the norms and ethics of Indian Culture Mr Lamas would try to convey a message of Universal Fraternity to the people of the USA through a three-mile run for peace in Forgo on the eve of the Gandhi Jayanti on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Besides creating awareness among the youths there it would also dilute the sense of insecurity among elders.



36 grievances redressed at khula darbar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
Under the programme to redress grievances of the people, a khulla darbar was organised in Ludhiana East Constituency at Janakpuri, here yesterday. Mr. Surinder Dawar, Parliamentary Secretary, Power and Urban Development Punjab presided over the function and redressed more than 36 complaints of the people on the spot. The officers of the departments concerned included the Municipal Corporation, Health, Public Health, Power and Social Security were present. Most of the problems were relating to the drinking water, power, house tax, roads, cleanliness, Health facilities, Sewerage and drinking water etc.

Addressing the function Mr. Dawar said that the officers of all departments had been directed by the government to give maximum time in their offices to meet the general public and to dispose their problems as early as possible. The Parliamentary Secretary informed that now after overcoming the financial crisis the state government had prepared out a comprehensive development programme and funds amounting to Rs 500 crore was being spent to improve the civic amenities in all cities and towns of the state. He said that in Ludhiana city alone development projects amounting to Rs. 200 crore were being carried out during the current year. He said that in his constituency during the past two years development works amounting to Rs 20 crore had been completed and an other project costing to Rs 14 crore to cover the open nullah passing through different localities have also been approved.

On a complaint regarding the poor condition of Muncipal Park in the area Mr Dawar directed the officers of the Muncipal Corporation to ensure the proper maintenance of the Park. Redressing a complaint regarding a Power Transformer running out of order in street no. 6, Mr Dawar directed the XEN PSEB to replace the Transformer within two days so that the Power could be restored. 



Birmi for tightening security in jails
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
With a view to completely plug the chances of inmates escaping from jails and to keep a check on the violation of jail manual, the Department of Jails has decided to take effective steps to enhance the security in the jails and to strictly implement the Patra System of round-the-clock patrolling.

Disclosing this here today, the Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Jails, Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi directed all Jail Superintendents to strictly enforce the jails manual and added any lapse on the part of jail superintendents and other staff would be taken seriously. They would be held responsible for the violation of the jail manual. Mr Birmi directed the jail superintendents to plug the loopholes of smuggling drugs, other intoxicants and mobile phones in side the jails.

Mr Birmi, while reacting to the demand of more staff said the process of employing 400 new staff in the jails had already begun.

He directed the jail superintendents and the deputy jail superintendents to personally visit the jail two times a day, so that irregularities being committed by the lower staff could be rectified. He said the Jail Department had received an installment of Rs 11 crore from the Union Government to bring about an improvement and the construction of two new barracks.

He added that the department would get another Rs 11 crore for the development of the jails.

Mr Birmi also said two new multi-storeyed modern jails with capacity, of 5,000 inmates each would be constructed in Jalandhar and Patiala by a Malaysian company and their designs had already been prepared. He said the MoU with the company would be signed by the next week.

The Chief Parliamentary secretary also stated that a new 66 kv power grid especially for the jail would shortly be set in the city jail.

Addressing the meeting, Mr J.P. Virdi, ADGP (Jails), while reacting to the problems faced by the jail superintendents assured that the genuine problems of the staff would be redressed. He also directed the jail superintendents to ensure that the entire staff should wear the prescribed uniforms while on duty.

Mr Sukhpal Singh Gill, Special Home, and Mr S.K. Datta, IG (Jails), also addressed the meeting.



Pensioners flay govt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 27
Pensioners at a meeting held here yesterday, flayed the state government for its “anti-employee” policies. During its 30-month rule and after having presented three Budgets, the Congress Government has utterly failed to fulfil its poll promises made in its manifesto on the eve of the Punjab Assembly poll in February, 2002. The promises included a raise in the medical allowance and the grant of house rent allowance to pensioners, they said.

The pensioners pointed out that the MLA- pensioners in Punjab had been allowed old age allowance at the rate of 5 per cent, 10 per cent and 15 per cent of their basic pension on attaining the age of 65, 75 and 80 years, respectively. However, the Punjab Government pensioners were given this benefit only at two ages, i.e. 65 and 75 years and the benefit at the age of 80 years is denied to them despite the third Pay Commission’s recommendation made 16 years ago.

The pensioners voiced their concern that despite financial crisis, the income tax on the ministers’ salaries was paid from the state exchequer and, now, the Punjab Government was all set to pay the income tax on the MLAs’ salaries also. The full reimbursement of medical expenses had also been allowed to the MLAs instead of a fixed medical allowance of Rs 250 per month, they said.

“The government has money for former as well as sitting MLAs, but the coffers are empty for former employees,” the pensioners regretted.



Colouring of hair catches on
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 27
“Every person who wants to be in sync with modern style is getting his hair coloured be it a male or female, young and not so young. The crowning glory is turning red or pink, cinnamon coloured and guess what blonde? Yes Indians are getting their hair coloured blonde. And who is setting the fashion of coloured hair in vogue. Of course film stars like Shahrukh Khan, Kareen Kapoor, Preity Zinta and fashion models like in Lakme’ Fashion Shows and glossies, who appear in streaked hair that encourages the fans to make a beeline to hair saloons and get hair coloured,” opines Nidhi Lal, an hair expert.

She has come from Mumbai and said, “I have found that ladies, young girls and even men are interested in their hair coloured. The teenagers are going for funky colours like catchy pinks. Actually most of the people who get their hair coloured get a global colour and then get streaks in different colours. Like younger people go for brighter global colours and little older people go for subtle global colours with streaks. Colouring of hair does change the personality of a person.

There are a many myths about the colouring of hair. The most common myth is that hair turn grey if one colours one’s hair, but it is totally false, The colour is applied outwards and does not go to roots then how can it turn the hair grey. Moreover grey hair come from within due to genetic factors, illnesses, degradation of environment, hard water. If one shampoos one’s hair with colour protection shampoo and applies conditioner after shampooing, the coloured hair look very silky and very attractive.

The only thing is that one has to touch the roots of coloured hair after every three weeks. Coloured hair do need care and one has to spend to buy hair colour. One has to pay the price of being very stylish and to be in tune with style.



3 poor girls married off
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 27
It was a day of celebrations for the parents of three needy girls who were married off courtesy Maa Bhagwati Club. The Chairman and President Mr Sukhdev Thapar and Mr Ashwani Sikka supervised arrangements of the wedding ceremony which was held in Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Deep Nagar.

The marriages were attended by relatives of brides and grooms, all members of the Club. The club members keeps on organising such weddings from time to time. They also give things needed to set up house by giving the couples beds, fans, utensils, clothess etc. The girls’ parents were at the happy turn of events as they had given up all hope of getting their daughters’ marriages as they were from economically wealer section of society.



Pandit Shrada Ram’s birthday celebrations
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 27
The Bairagi Mahamandal, Punjab will celebrate Pandit Shrada Ram Phillauri’s 167th birthday here at the community hall, Aggar Nagar on Septmber 30. Giving this information, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, president of the Bairagi Mahamandal, said a decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the mandal here on Saturday. Pandit Shrada Ram had penned aarti ‘Om Jai Jagdish Hare’.

Mr Bawa said that a collection of books written by Prof Harmohinder Singh of Guru Nanak Dev University which includes poems, and stories relating to scholar Shrada Ram would be released on the occasion. Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana would be the chief guest, Mr Bawa informed.



Workers-Eveline management deadlock continues
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
The ongoing conflict between the management and workers of Eveline International (Greatway), a major garment exporter, did not get resolved even after more than five days of an alleged lockout of the unit.

While the workers allege that the management has opted for a lockout as they had refused to accept the company’s proposal of working on a piece-wage system, a spokesperson for the management denied the allegation, stating that the company was willing to let the workers in.

Said Mr Sarabjit Singh Sarhali, who represented the workers, “They are demanding that workers should work on a piece-wage system, which is not legal. Over 2,500 workers are willing to work but they are not able to do so due to a lockout in the unit.”

The spokesperson for the management, however, blamed it on the workers and said they had left their jobs themselves. “All we want is that they should meet the desired production target, which comes to around 15-18 pieces per worker per day. However, they refused to do so,” said Mr B.D.Arora, legal adviser to the company.

He claimed that nearly 650 of the total 2,200 workers in the factory were still working. The company has slowed down production due to the ongoing situation. But there is no lockout, he claimed.

He also said the company was willing to let the workers in on the condition that they gave in writing that they would work with sincerity and meet the desired production targets.

The workers alleged that the management was portraying a false picture by marking them as ‘absent from duty’. “They are trying to portray that there is no lockout whereas the situation is otherwise,” the workers said.

While the previous meeting between the management representatives and the workers at the labour office here on Saturday failed to yield any results, the meeting scheduled for today was reportedly postponed.

“We are yet to get into the details of conflict. It appears that it will take a couple of more meetings for the problem to resolve,” said Mr Satnam Singh, Labour-cum-Conciliation Officer, Circle 4.



Bank branch opened
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, September 27
Vijay Bank today opened its 879th branch in the country and 14th fully computerised one in the state at Mandi Gobindgarh. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, inaugurated the branch. Addressing the function, Mr Ahluwalia congratulated the management of the bank for providing deposit and loan facilities to the people of this industrial town.

Mr Naveer Kumar Hegde, Assistant General Manager, gave a brief account of the bank’s loan products. Mr Ajay Khurana, Senior Branch Manager, Mandi Gobindgarh, also highlighted various beneficiaries schemes of the bank.


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