C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Weekend rain delights residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
Western disturbances caused a heavy downpour in the city catching several officer-goers unaware. The 16 millimetres of rain, recorded by the metrological office, not only turned the mood of the Chandigarhians upbeat, but also threw normal life out of gear with trees getting uprooted and minor accidents taking place on city roads.

At some places in the city, notwithstanding the claims of the Chandigarh Administration of having prepared to face the monsoon, water was seen accumulated, causing hardship to commuters, many of whom had their scooters stranded due to the downpour. The temperature dropped by a mere one degree recording 38.8 degrees Celsius.

But once the rain stopped, people by the hundreds came out of their homes and offices to enjoy the cool breeze that followed. The banks of the Sukhna Lake and the Rose Garden, like many other gardens in the city, saw a plethora of people converging there, enjoying the sudden change in weather.

Many youngsters were seen zipping on city roads in romantic mood with their friends. However, all those expecting the monsoon to lash the city were disappointed after the Metrological Department ruled that the rain was neither pre-monsoon nor monsoon showers and that the rain was caused merely by western disturbances. The good news however is that there is a possibility of rain even on Saturday, making the weekend that started today an enjoyable one.

Though, the temperature drop was only slight, but the sale of ice-cream, corn on cob, samosas, pakoras and hot jalebis suddenly picked up, resulting in long queues at sweet shops.

At many places the rain was accompanied by winds that uprooted trees. At one place the uprooted tree fell on a car damaging it. But the occupants who had just stepped out after parking the vehicle had a miraculous escape. Youngsters were also seen dancing and bathing in the rain on the city roads. Two wheeler riders got rid of the safety helmets to enjoy the cool rain.

Rain was reported from places adjoining the city too. Some places around Panchkula also reported mild hailstorm. The rain is said to be a boon for farmers as it will help their cash crops. The rain is also likely to bring down the prices of vegetables that had sky rocketed due to poor yields due to dry and hot weather.

At Panchkula, the rain lasted for over 30 minutes and led to accumulation of water in low-lying areas and certain roads were virtually converted into small canals momentarily. Children had a gala time who could not be restrained from having splash in the rainwater by their parents. Vehicular traffic in Panchkula was affected due to knee deep water accumulated at various roundabouts. Though there were reports of minor accidents, no major mishap was reported from any part of Panchkula or its surrounding areas.



Two suicides in city
Married woman, BA-I student end life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
Two suicides were reported in the city today. In one of the incidents, a 24-year-old married woman ended her life at her Sector 32 residence early this morning. She was being allegedly harassed by her husband and in-laws to bring dowry. In the second incident, a 22-year-old youth allegedly hanged himself at his house in Sector 20.

Giving details about the first incident, sources in the Sector 34 police station said Aruna (also known as Anu), wife of Pawan Kumar, ended her life by hanging herself from a ceiling fan hook with a duppata.

The incident took place around 5 am. Her in-laws lowered the body from the hook before informing the police. The police took the victim to the hospital where she was declared brought dead. She was married around two years back and had a six-month-old daughter.

The police informed her parents living in Himachal Pradesh. The victim’s mother, Ms Raj Rani, reached the city and filed a complaint against Pawan Kumar, his mother Rukmani and his elder sister-in-law Divya Jyoti alleging that they were harassing her daughter for dowry.

After registering a case, the police arrested Pawan Kumar and Rukmani.

Ms Raj Rani told the police that yesterday was Anu’s birthday. She made a call to them and started crying. She told them that Pawan and her mother were harassing her for not getting gifts from her parents on her birthday.

On May 18, a report was lodged at the Sector 34 police station after the couple had a dispute. Meanwhile, the police has handed over the body to her family after a post-mortem examination.

About the other incident, sources in the Sector 19 police station said the body of 22-year-old Satinderpal Singh of Sector 20 was found hanging from a ceiling fan hook by his sister in the wee hours. The reason behind the extreme step was yet to be ascertained as the victim did not leave any suicide note.

The police said Satinderpal was a student of BA I and had gone to Tangori Engineering College and bought a prospectus from there. He returned in the evening. After taking tea, he went out. He came back around 10 pm.

Quoting his father, Mr Shemsher Singh, a Superintendent in the Punjab Health Department, a police officer said Satinderpal used to sleep in the front room of the house, but last night he asked his sisters to sleep in his room and he went to their room.

The incident came to light when his sister woke up in the night and saw him hanging from the ceiling fan hook. She raised an alarm and they rushed him to a hospital, where he was declared dead.



‘Mentoring’ system to check absenteeism
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune New Service

Chandigarh, June 23
In a move to curb absenteeism among college students, the Chandigarh Administration is introducing a system of “mentoring” as opposed to “monitoring” in the government colleges in the city.
In a recent meeting of the DPI (Colleges), UT, and college principals, the colleges were asked to implement the system from the coming session.

In the first two-three months of the session, a team of college teachers will identify students who are not attending lectures regularly. Such students will be then divided into groups and attached to individual faculty members who will then be their “mentors”.

“Psychological issues will be addressed through this system. Instead of blacklisting students who are choosing not to attend classes, there is a need to understand the reasons why they are doing so. It is not always out of negligence or irresponsibility that such students are irregular in classes and as a result perform poorly. There can be someone ill at home, or maybe the student has some other stresses and strains,” said Ms Raji P. Srivastava, DPI (Colleges).

“As part of the system, the mentor may even visit the student’s home to confer with the family, if required. The idea is to rope in the entire family to support the student’s academic performance,” she added.

College principals have also been told that there should be special focus on those students who come to college but still do not attend classes.

On an average, around 10 per cent of the total students in government colleges are found to be short of lectures by the end of the session. These students are denied roll numbers for appearing in the university examinations and stand to lose a year. Parents are generally seen requesting the higher authorities for allowing their wards to appear in the examinations.

The new system is different from the system of tutorials, which is an existing system in most colleges. In tutorials, students are divided into groups with a teacher as their in change. This teacher interacts with them informally.

The mentoring system would focus only on those students who showed signs of being non-serious in studies and were likely to respond to compassionate intervention. The academic performance in colleges would improve following the implementation of the system, college principals said.

“These students are as much our assets as the other more serious students. Counselling will be need-based and students will be heard and listened to rather than talked to,” pointed out Ms Srivastava.



Passing thru

 Ravinder Zutshi
Mr Ravinder Zutshi, Deputy Managing Director Samsung India

What future do you see for the electronics industry?

Only companies that continue to do research and come out with innovative products will survive in the future.

Which is the fastest growing segment within your industry?

Samsung is concentrating on storage devices, memory chips, display devices, mobiles, digital television, system LSI and air control. To give you an indication, Liquid Crystal Diode (LCD) panels’ sales in Punjab region have grown 500 per cent in the last six months.

Are Japanese electronic goods rates better than Korean products?

In Europe and America, Samsung still competes with Sony. But in the Indian market, Samsung has a much bigger market hold. If you club LG with Samsung, these two Korean companies are bigger than all other companies put together.

What are Samsung India’s plans for the region?

We are concentrating on the IT sector. During the year 2006, we will be opening 15 exclusive IT stores across the country out of which one will be in Delhi and another one in Chandigarh. These stores will give the customers hands on feel of our product and also give them a road map for the future, like most IT stores in US and Australia.

— Naveen S. Garewal



MoD, UT Adm to barter land for airport expansion
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
The Defence Ministry (MoD) and the Chandigarh Administration will be bartering land to pave way for the expansion of the Chandigarh airport for making it an international hub.

Towards this end, the local Air Force authorities have forwarded a no-objection certificate up the chain of command, declaring that land can be transferred to the civilian administration for the purpose of expanding the civilian air terminal.

The Air Force is willing to part with 2.89 acres of land lying adjacent to the parking lot of the civilian terminal. As compensation, the Air Force would be allotted equivalent land by the UT Administration in Sector 31 or Sector 47, which would primarily be used for constructing residential accommodation and allied facilities. ‘‘There is a general agreement for transfer of land, but the final clearance is yet to be accorded by the MoD,’’ Air Officer Commanding, 12 Wing, Air Cmde T.K. Venugopal, said.

Similarly, about five acres of Army land, lying to the north of the civilian airport's dispersal bay is being sought for the expansion project. This area houses the N-Area, responsible for the airlift of men and material to the northern sector.

The N-Area has massive infrastructure built up over decades. This includes buildings, storage complexes, family accommodation, messes and barracks for troops. Besides two Army Service Corps battalions, several minor units are also located there. In winter months, when sorties to Leh and Thoise are disrupted because of bad weather, as many as 4,000 transients are accommodated there.

Compensatory land for the Army is being offered near Hallo Majra, where some of the transit camps and other infrastructure would be relocated. Already there are some transit camps located in that area.

The land acquired from N-Area would be used to expand the existing dispersal bay to accommodate larger and more number of aircraft. Though the 9,000 feet long runway, which belongs to the Air Force, is capable of handling aircraft of any size, the domestic terminal can accommodate aircraft only of the size up to a Boeing 737 or an Airbus 320. The Airports Authority of India would also be acquiring civilian land east and south of the runway for setting up required technical infrastructure and cargo handling facilities.



Apartment Act of other states to be studied
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
The governing body meeting of “Chandigarh Perspectives” today decided to conduct a comparative study of the Apartment Act/Rules of other states viz-a-viz the Chandigarh Apartment Rules.

The study to be conducted by a smaller group will enable the Administration to derive whether the Apartment Rules of the Chandigarh Administration need to be reviewed and also to study its impact on urban image, infrastructure etc

The decisions were taken at a meeting chaired by the Advisor to the Administrator, Mr Lalit Sharma, here today. The governing body has been expanded to include experts from various fields to make it a vibrant body, sensitive to the emerging challenges being faced by the city.

The UT Finance Secretary, Mr SK Sandhu, apprised the governing body of major projects such as Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park, Theme Park, Film City, Botanical Garden and recreational facilities undertaken by the Administration and also detailed out a road map for future planning. Opinions of experts were sought on various issues.

It was decided to complete the Nehru Centre for Performing Arts and second library on a priority basis. The governing body will meet after about a month to review the report of the sub-group on the apartment rules and discuss methodology to take care of growth need of the city, while retaining its character. 



I am pained, Army chief’s wife tells Kohli’s widow
Vishal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
Though the manner in which the Army handled Captain Sumit Kohli’s case and the callous treatment meted out to his family raised quite a few eyebrows, all is not lost yet.

In a pleasant surprise to the beleaguered family of the late Captain, the Army chief, General J.J. Singh’s wife Anupama Singh has recently written a letter to Ms Deepika Kohli, Captain’s widow, assuring her all possible help.

The letter has been written by Ms Singh in her capacity of President of the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA).

Written in a remarkably reassuring tone, the letter urges Ms Kohli, who is expecting a child, to be brave and maintain calm, composure and strength for the well-being of the yet-to-be-born baby.

Further in the letter, Ms Anupama Singh shares her sorrow over Captain’s demise and promises Ms Kohli a fair and thorough probe.

“I am pained at your anguish and equally concerned about your apprehensions.“ I have talked to authorities concerned and assure you a thorough probe into the cause of death of Captain Sumit Kohli, SC (Shaurya Chakra),” Ms Singh says in the letter.

Incidentally, Ms Deepika Kohli had earlier written a petition-letter to the AWWA President seeking a fair probe into the death of Captain Kohli who, according to the Army, committed “suicide” on April 30.

Captain Kohli’s family, residing in Sector 40, Chandigarh, reacted cautiously to the letter but could not hide their satisfaction over the fact that a person no less than the Army chief’s wife had decided to take up the matter.



Jain flays govt on rail link
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
A former MP and the national convener of the legal cell of the BJP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, has criticised the Congress-led UPA government, especially the Railway Ministry, for not putting the newly-constructed Ludhiana-Chandigarh railway line to use.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Jain alleged that though the railway line was ready for running of trains since April 1,2006, yet it had not been opened to public as a “suitable VVIP” was not available for inauguration. If the railway was not put to use immediately, the BJP would start an agitation, including black flag demonstration on the railway track on July 1, he asserted.

Mr Jain alleged that the Central government was not paying any attention to issues concerning the city. The construction of the railway bridge near the Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra, has been hanging fire for several months now.

Similarly, the recent railway Budget had failed to start or extend any train to the city. The quality of food in the Shatabdi had been going from bad to worse, he added.



3-year tenure for officers on public dealing posts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
On the directives of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on not posting officials on public dealing seats for more than three years, the Home Department of the Chandigarh Administration has directed the heads of all departments to comply with the instructions.

The heads of the departments have been asked to report back with the compliance report. Details of all such officials have also been sought, it is learnt.

Acting on the directions, at least 40 employees in the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) have been reshuffled. A similar exercise was being carried out in the Engineering Department. The Chief Engineer of the UT Engineering, Mr V.K.Bhardwaj, said the guidelines were being followed. “The staff on deputation with the Estate Office is called back on the recommendations of the Deputy Commissioner”, he added.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr R.K. Rao, said on the guidelines of the CVC, at least 35 employees in different wings of the Estate Office had been reshuffled recently.



Road named after martyr Pal Singh
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, June 23
The Vice-Chairman of the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC), Mr Deepinder Singh Dhillon, today inaugurated the “Shaheed Naib Subedar Pal Singh Marg” connecting Devi Nagar with Jawahar Pur village.

Paying rich tributes to the martyr, Mr Dhillon assured all possible help to the family.

A gate and a suitable memorial would be raised in the memory of the martyr to perpetuate his memory, he added.

Built at a cost of Rs 35 lakh by the Punjab Mandi, the road had been laid in the memory of Naib Subedar Pal Singh, who made supreme sacrifice in the Kupwara sector of Jammu and Kashmir over three years back.

Prominent among those present on the occasion included Mr Amritpal Singh, president of the Dera Bassi Municipal Council, Ms Geetanjali Gujjar, chairperson of the Dera Bassi Market Committee and Mr Sukhdev Sharma, chairman of the Banur Market Committee.

Mr Sham Singh, chairman of the Lalru Market Committee,Mr Kuljit Singh Randhawa, president of the Dera Bassi Truck Union, Mr Prem Singh, president of the Dera Bassi unit of the Congress, and Mr Gurnam Singh, Sarpanch of Devi Nagar were also present.



Development centre inaugurated
Tribune New Service

Chandigarh, June 23
Development Centre of Outline Systems Inc, USA, was inaugurated by Mr S.K.Sandhu, Finance and IT Secretary, Chandigarh, here today. The development centre has been established at SPIC, IT arm of Punjab Engineering College.

Mr Satinder Singh, President of Outline Systems, gave a PowerPoint presentation of the history, management, activities and future plans of the company. The company has invested about Rs 300 lakh in its first year of operations in India and has recruited 60 IT professionals. The company plans to recruit 600 IT professionals in the coming years.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sandhu told mediapersons that the Chandigarh Administration would invite companies of repute to start their operations in the city. “We hope that our infrastructure and availability of quality manpower in Chandigarh is a big stimulus for companies,” he said.



Servant verification campaign
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
The Chandigarh police will hold a servant verification campaign in the various parts of the city on Saturday and Sunday.
A spokesman of the Chandigarh police said camps would be held at beat boxes in Sector 22, 16, 7, 27, 28, 47, 34, 35, 38, 40 and Bapu Dham Colony. Besides, the camps would be held at the community centre, Sector 15, SD High School, Sector 24, police booth, inner market, Sector 8, community centres in Sectors 15, 20 and Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra and at Government High School, Sector 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The police said all police officers concerned would be present at the camps and the general public was requested to bring two recent photographs of the servants along with permanent addresses of their native places.



Process to appoint CPOs begins
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 23
The process of appointing community police officers (CPOs) has been started by the police.
Meetings were being held with prominent persons of the town where problems were discussed and remedial measures suggested. Two such meetings were held today that were attended by senior police officers.

The police has started making committees comprising a president, a general secretary and a cashier. These committees would be appointing CPOs. One such committee would be constituted for every 100 houses. The CPOs would be collecting the required funds in this regard that would be spent on them by the committee members.

The community policing project is likely to be implemented from July 1.



Loan camp for buying veggies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
With an objective to embarrass the ruling Congress at the Centre on the issue of soaring prices, the Punjab unit of the BJP today organised a camp in front of its office here to give loans to buy vegetables prices which have virtually hit the roof in the past few days.

Vineet Joshi, brain behind organising the loan camp, said the UPA government was responsible for the soaring prices of the vegetables and foodgrains. " Virtually, people need to take loan to buy vegetables", he added.

A member of the National Executive of the BJP's youth wing, Mr Vineet Joshi, said the Congress government was staunch supporters of hoarders of foodgrains and other essential items. Whenever the Congress came to power, it made traders to make a fast buck by jacking up prices of essential commodities.



Youth electrocuted
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 23
A youth of Mataur village got electrocuted here today.
It is reported that Nika Singh ( 20) died on the spot. His body was taken to the local Civil Hospital where he was declared as having been ''brought dead''.

It is learnt that when it had started raining in the evening, Nika Singh was going on a bicycle. When he reached near a government school, he crossed over a live power cable which had fallen in the area.

According to information, Harnek Singh, a brother of the deceased, who was standing close by, tried to save his brother but failed to do so.

It is reported that the cable had fallen around 4 pm and a complaint in this regard was made at the complaint office . But the complaint was not attended to immediately due to bad weather. 



MC’s new website address
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
The name of the official website of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh has been changed from mcchandigarh.com to mcchandigarh.gov.in, according to a press statement issued here today.



Dr P.P.S. Cooner

Chandigarh, June 23
Dr P.P.S. Cooner, who is working as Joint Director, Research and Medical Education, Punjab, has been given additional charge of Director, Research and Medical Education, in the absence of Dr Kiranjeet Kaur, who has proceeded on leave abroad. TNS



2 nominated to Advisory Council

Chandigarh, June 23
The UT Administrator has nominated Kanwar Sandhu, Resident Editor, The Hindustan Times as member of the Administrator’s Advisory Council in place of Sridhar Raman, a former Resident Editor, The Times of India, Chandigarh.
Krishan Goel, Managing Director and CEO, Modern Steel, has also been nominated to the Administrator’s Advisory Council member. — TNS



Sapna murder: police zeroes in on suspects
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 23
The district police claimed to have made a breakthrough in the Sapna murder case by zeroing on over six suspects today.
Sources in the police disclosed that the suspects had been figured on the basis of telephone calls made and received from a mobile phone being used by Sapna, a resident of Mauli Jagran in Chandigarh.

The suspects were likely to be arrested by a day of two, the police claimed.

It is also learned that the police has also detained some suspects for questioning in this case.

The police parties have been sent to various suspected hideouts of the miscreants involved in the crime.

Meanwhile, the police failed to nab a Manila-based NRI Kuldeep Singh of Barnala for allegedly killing his former “lover” Ramandeep Kaur of the same locality.

Though the police has made headway in the case after 10 days of the murder and recovered a Tats Safari, used in the crime, yet the main suspect in the case is still at large.

The district police claimed that information had been flashed to police authorities at every railway station and airports for restraining Kuldeep Singh from fleeing the country.

It may be recalled body of Sapna was found semi-naked in forest area of Nada village along a road leading to Morni Hills on Sunday morning.

While Ramandeep Kaur was found strangled to death along a bank of the Ghaggar river on June 10.

Haling from Barnala, Ramandeep Kaur had been staying as a paying guest in a Sector 22, Chandigarh, and was pursuing an English Speaking course.

Kuldeep Singh had come all the way from Manila with an offer of marriage.

The police said widow Amarjeet Kaur, mother of the deceased, had disclosed that Kuldeep had joined them in Chandigarh but Ramandeep had turned down his proposal for marriage.



Charas worth Rs 50,000 seized; 1 held
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 23
Tightening the noose around drug paddlers, the CIA staff of Haryana police nabbed Ashok Kumar, a resident of Chandimandir, and recovered 800gm of charas from his possession. The cost of the contraband is said to be around Rs 50,000 in the international market.

Acting on a tip off, a team of the CIA staff led by Mr Joginder Singh, Station House Officer, Chandimandir, laid a trap and nabbed him with the drug from Chandimandir bus stand.

Dr Abhey Singh, DSP, said after questioning Ashok Kumar claimed to have indulged in the trade for the past two years. Hailing from Mathura, Ashok Kumar was staying in Chuna Bhatti area in Chandimandir. This was his second attempt to sell charas in the area. The police also claimed to have found some important clues about an accomplice of Ashok Kumar.

A case under the NDPS Act has been registered against him at Chandimandir police station. The suspect will be produced in the court tomorrow.

Mr Manoj Kumar, a local shopkeeper was electrocuted here today. Manoj Kumar sustained electric shock while working at his shop.

He was rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, where the doctors declared him brought dead. The police has initiated inquest proceeding in this regard.



20 rounded up, 6 vehicles recovered
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 23
The police has rounded up 20 persons and recovered six vehicles during a raid conducted at Jagatpura colony in the wee hours here today. Naunihal Singh, SSP, said in a press note that the raid was conducted under the supervision of Varinder Pal Singh, SP, City.

He said six vehicles were impounded as the documents of these were not available.The police rounded up 20 persons whose antecedents were being verified. In another case, the police arrested Jatinder Singh, a resident of Mundi complex, Sector 70, on charges of cheating and forgery.

Jatinder Singh, who ran a taxi service, had purchased Indica and Sumo by taking a loan from ICICI Bank. Instead of returning the amount to the bank, Jatinder Singh allegedly got fake registration papers prepared for both vehicles. The police said Jatinder Singh had confessed to the crime.



Gang of thieves busted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 23
The police has claimed to busted arrested a gang of thieves active in the city for the past two months.
Sources in the police disclosed that the gang of thieves had confessed over 12 thefts, robberies, and burglaries in and around the city.

Those who have been arrested include Shiv Kumar of Madrasi Colony and Mohammad Iqbal of Old Panchkula along with their accomplices. The police has also recovered some electronic goods, including CDs, colour TVs and a couple of other items.



Jet-Sahara deal collapse
not to affect passengers: expert
Says flying and cabin crew career prospects bright
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Parvez Damania
Parvez Damania

Chandigarh, June 23
The collapse of the mega deal to acquire Air Sahara by Jet Airways for Rs 2,300 crore will not affect the common passenger in any way as the air fares would continue to remain competitive, eminent aviation expert and Executive Director of the Kingfisher Airways, Mr Parvez Damania, said here today.

Mr Damania, who has been credited with the modernisation and bringing new dimensions to the Sahara Airlines during his tenure as the Director, discounted the apprehensions that fare hike was imminent in the wake of the collapse of the largest deal in the Indian aviation history.” I do not see any hike in the air fares as the airline operators would like to keep the air fares low for the benefit of the general public”, Mr Damania said.

Terming the stand-off between Jet and Sahara as "not good" for the Indian aviation industry, Mr Damania claimed that the Indian airlines were among the best in the world. In fact, apart from the cost factor the Indian passengers attached equal importance to quality services, he added.

Answering a specific question about the "elite" nature of the flying and cabin crew careers, Mr Damania opined that though the initial cost of the training might be exorbitant yet career prospects were bright in these sectors with new airlines entering the field. The training cost in these careers has to seen as an investment the benefits of which could be reaped throughout the life, he asserted.

Meanwhile, during an interaction with the students of Flying Cats, an air hostess training school, Mr Damania stressed the need for being confident and positive in the interview.

The Managing Director of the Flying Cats, Ms Priyanka Khosla, hoped that visits of the technical experts would benefit the students in boosting their confidence and helping in building sound knowledge of the technical side of the aviation industry. The school was the only institute teaching the students through V SAT, laptops and celebrity interactions, she added. 



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