L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Software piracy controversy
City architects caught in design distress
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 31
Quite a number of architects in Ludhiana seem to have been caught on a wrong foot (design) for allegedly using pirated software. Recently raids were conducted in the offices of some leading architects on behalf of Auto CAD, a US-based software company. The company is also learnt to have served legal notices to quite a number of architects in the city asking them to either pay for the software that they have used or face legal action.

The raids were conducted a few days ago leading to a lot of panic among the architects in the city. Some of them have even replaced their computers fearing that they might be caught. While the authorised software is available for anything between Rs 1 to 1.5 lakh, the pirated software costs only a few thousand rupees.

However, most of the architects maintained that it was by default rather than design that they had been using the pirated software (if at all they were using it). They pointed out that once they bought computers they were offered special software packages and the software was already installed in the computer. "How do we know that the software we were using was pirated", asked one of the architects who did not want to be quoted.

The architects have been served legal notices under the violation of the Copyright Act. The US-based software company Auto CAD has claimed to have the copyright over the software being widely used by architects in designing.

It was learnt that once the company learnt that its software was being widely used without due authorisation, it sought legal aid in India. A team of lawyers armed with court orders and assisted by the police conducted raids at several places. A leading architect's office was raided in Sant Isher Singh Nagar on Pakhowal Road. At least four other offices were also raided and computers and laptops were reportedly sealed.

Most of the architects have reportedly removed computers from their offices. However, the company is learnt to have made an offer to the architects to buy the software following which it would not pursue the case against them. The architects find the proposal to expensive as the cost has been reportedly put at about Rs 1.5 lakh while in the grey market it is available for less than Rs 10,000.

The company has even asked the architects that they can have the authorised software and use it for sometime on trial basis and buy it later. However, if they are not interested in buying the software then they will have to stop using it.

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City girl tops AIEEE in state
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 31
Quite a number of city students have scored top ranks in the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE), the results of which were declared today. Isha Hans of Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, topped the state, while Karamdeeep Singh of DAV Public School, BRS Nagar, got the fifteenth position in the state. Isha is ranked 224 at the national level.

In the habit of winning
Isha has also topped the national aptitude test for architecture (NATA), an online test for admission to architecture, she has cleared the first round of the NIFT and the Symbiosis. 

Most of the local schools claimed that their students had succeeded in the AIEEE. The toppers include Bavleen Kaur of Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, who secured 28th position in the state, Taranpreet Singh of DAV Public School got the 54th position and Paras of KVM got 57th position are among those from the city who secured first 100 positions in the state.

The competition in the AIEEE is too tough at the national level.

Isha Hans, who topped the list in the state, said, it was studies all the way and nothing else that helped. She had scored 88 per cent marks in the CBSE Class XII exam. She was little disappointed when she did not get a good rank in the IIT. However, her hard work paid off today as she got the national rank of 224 in the AIEEE.

She said she was thankful to her parents and teachers who had always been a source of inspiration.

The Kundan Vidya Mandir students who were listed among the first successful 500 in the city include Paras Arora (67), Mukul (83), Sumehda (188), Ankit Manocha (252), Kamal Sood (333), Sanchit Arora (360), Shubham Sunder (421), Mohit Sharma (422) and Parik (431). Besides, Mohit Bhardwaj is ranked 177 in the B Architecture.

Four students from BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar — Abhay Kalra (141), Rajbir Singh (415) and Vikrant (499), and three students from Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar — Bhavleen Kaur (28), Darash Preet Singh (363) and Parvinder Singh (445), made to the top 500. Besides, Amandeep Singh Kalsi is ranked 58 in the B Architecture.

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conned
3 traders lose lakhs to fake drafts
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 31
A conman has disappeared after duping many industrialists of the city by furnishing them fake drafts of a Moga-based bank and taking away truck loads of iron and brass products worth lakhs of rupees.

Three industrialists have filed separate complaints in Division No 2 and the focal point police station. The police has started investigation into the fraud case. The way in which the trickster has swindled these three industrialists has made the police suspect that he might have duped several other persons too. The police has also detained a truck driver, who had taken the consignment for the accused. The truck driver, however, had no inkling about the shady deals.

Police officials handling the different complaints said they were trying to establish the exact identity of the accused.

The three complainants included owners of Ludhiana Metals at Chandigarh road, Krishna Tools and Punjab Pipe stores. The owners of Ludhiana Metals were duped of nearly Rs 2 lakh. The Krishna Tools owner was duped of Rs 1.40 lakh while the Punjab Pipe stores was duped of Rs 1.10 lakh. The accused had placed orders for brass gate valves besides the iron products.

Pal Singh of the Punjab Pipe stores told Ludhiana Tribune that the accused gave them bank drafts at which they sent him the consignment. However, the accused told the truck driver to download the consignment at roadside only. With this, the truck driver never came to know the actual address of the accused.

SHO, Focal point, Sandeep Kumar, said the matter was under investigation and the police cannot disclose much at this juncture. Meanwhile, a delegation of the affected industrialists would meet the SSP R.K Jaiswal tomorrow.

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Residents angry as units polluting nullah get more time
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 31
With the Punjab Pollution Control Board today announcing that it would not shut down the industry polluting the Budda Nullah and would rather give some more time to the units, the hopes of the residents of the city and 168 villages lining the nullah to have a cleaner water body were dashed to the ground.

Is anybody hearing. They are only bothered about the industrialists who are well connected. What about poor villagers like us?

Thousands of city residents living in the areas lining the nullah and many villages alongside this water body, which had been drinking polluted water for years, were hoping against hope that the nullah would become a fresh water body as the P. Ram committee had given a deadline to electroplate makers and dyers to stop discharging effluents by May 31 or face closure from June 1.

However, the PPCB officials said today that it was not feasible for them to penalise the industry by closing it down. The industry enjoying political patronage in the city was discharging toxic effluents down the drain.

The city residents and the villagers, who were forced to live under unhealthy conditions as they had been drinking polluted water due to the nullah, today felt that this was the second deadline that was jumped by the industry. It showed that no one was serious in the enforcement agencies.

Earlier the P.Ram committee had given March 31 as the deadline, but later it extended it to May 31. P. Ram had told Ludhiana Tribune two months ago that he would not relent this time and the industry had to throw only treated water into the nullah and the units not complying with the orders would be closed.

The villagers, who depend on untreated ground water for their drinking needs and were the victims of the pollution caused by the nullah that lines these villages in the district, said the development had disappointed them.

Jagjit Singh Lambran, sarpanch of Burj Lambran village, where the Budda Nullah empties into the Sutlej, said the villagers were falling prey to various diseases like cancer, jaundice, kidney diseases, stones, osteoporosis and dental ailments. The doctors had told the villagers that it was happening due to the consumption of polluted water and grains grown in these villages.

He said many youths had died in his village and surrounding villages, including Ballipur, Phaagla, Salempur, Basaimi and Burj Lambran. He said former sarpanch of Phaagla village Manjit Singh, former sarpanch of Salempur village Ajit Singh, former sarpanch of Basaimi village Charan Singh, former lambardar of Ballipur village Harbans Singh and former lambardar of Burj Lambran village Raghbir Singh had all died in the recent past due to liver and kidney diseases. ‘‘Is anybody hearing. They are only bothered about the industrialists who are well connected. What about poor villagers like us?” he asked.

Jagjit added that it was after their deaths that they started boring deep into earth to get clean water. Now they had installed submersible pumps till 300 to 350 feet. ‘‘We have been hoping things would improve but for how long? And what about the poor villagers who cannot afford to spend Rs one lakh on the installation of submersible pumps’’, he asked.

He said the poor were still drinking yellow colour water and crops were also irrigated with that only. 

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195 jhuggis gutted in migrants’ colony
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, May 31
Close on the heels of the fire incident in Shanti Nagar on May 25, another migrant labourers’ colony at Balibaig, Machhiwara, was engulfed in flames at 5.45 pm yesterday.The flames started touching the sky within a short span and reduced 195 jhuggies into ashes.

Four children and two women sustain burn injuries

In the furious fire, two children received 20 per cent burns, one child 30 per cent whereas one more child suffered 40 per cent burns.

Two women also suffered 20 per cent burns. The injured were rushed to the local primary health unit from where they were shifted to Civil Hospital in Ludhiana.

Manjit Singh Makkar husband of Balibaig Colony Councillor Harjit Kaur Makkar, Bakshi Ram, president, Democratic Teachers Front Machhiwara, Harvinder Singh, member of Tarksheel Society and some other social workers left no stone unturned in saving the migrant labourers and their belongings.

SDM, Samrala, Sukhdev Singh and DSP, Samrala, Bhula Singh immediately reached the spot to take stock of the situation.

As no ambulance reached the spot in time, the injured children and women were taken to the hospital in a vehicle belonging to Gurdwara Shri Charan Kanwal Sahib. No Doctor was available in the hospital when the incident took place. Afterwards SDM Samrala asked the doctors on the phone to reach the hospital.

Though the assessment of damage caused by the fire could not be made, the estimated loss has been assessed as Rs 20,000 each. Furious flames turned the dowry goods of five brides to the ashes.

Manager of Gurdwara Shri Charan Kanwal Sahib, Gurmeet Singh Kahlon, told that the migrant labourers of the destroyed colony would be served langar by the Gurdwara Shri Sharan Kanwal Sahib.

In the Balibaig Colony there are about 1,000 jhuggies out of which 300 were destroyed whereas the remaining were saved by the people.

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Death gives new twist to dispute
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 31
A landlord-tenant dispute that had been raging for the past few weeks in Ambedkar Nagar, Sherpur, and had allegedly been ignored by the police, took a serious turn this morning when an aged man, Gurdial Singh, from one of the involved groups died at a local hospital due to injuries suffered in a mysterious manner.

A warrant officer of the Punjab and Haryana High Court conducted a raid on Sherpur police post late last night to find out if the police had illegally detained a missing relative of the deceased man. Relatives of the missing person, Balbir Singh, staged a demonstration and blocked traffic at GT road opposite Sherpur police post for half-an-hour today.

Gurdial Singh was the father of Satnam Singh, who had, allegedly, with the help of his relatives and musclemen beaten up Swaminath and his wife Shanti, their landlord couple, a few days ago.

The couple was getting treatment at a local hospital but despite their injuries, the police had not registered any case against Satnam Singh and others. Even the panchayat of Ambedkar Nagar had given a statement in the favour of the couple.

Police sources said several cases were registered against Satnam Singh. They claimed Gurdial had not suffered any injuries in the alleged landlord-tenant dispute and had died of old age only.

Sources also claimed that Balbir Singh was absconding but in order to pressurise the police, his relatives had levelled false allegations that he was in the illegal custody of police.

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Disease, death & societal cost – tobacco has all of these
Students take pledge to stay away
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 31
More than 1,000 students of Sanatan Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School vowed to abstain from the consumption of tobacco and tobacco products and associate themselves with the crusade launched against the menace so that others might be warned of the hazardous effects of tobacco.

The oath was taken on occasion of World No Tobacco Day today. A seminar was organised jointly by health authorities and the school authorities. Ms Kamla Devi Sharma chairperson of the SVM Educational Trust, presided over the function and Dr K.C Goel, District Health Officer, Sangrur, was the chief guest.

Terming implementation of Tobacco Control Act as the need of the hour, Dr Goel called upon officer-bearers of various social and educational organisations of the area to join hands with the health authorities in minimising the hazardous effects of the menace. "Though the administration has tried to create awareness about the ill effects of tobacco a majority of consumers and prospective target groups have failed to reckon the consequence of its ignorance. The provisions of the Act can be implemented in a more effective way in case consumer organisations and NGOs start acting as monitors to watch the progress in their respective areas," said Dr K.C Goel.

Dr Goel illustrated that more than 400 chemicals, including nicotine, polycyclic hydrocarbons and Benzo tar, could result in fatal diseases like cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Dr Karnail Singh, a chest specialist claimed that tobacco consumption in general and smoking in particular had been known as the main cause of chest diseases, including tuberculosis and lung cancer. He pointed out that passive smoking was even more harmful than active smoking. "Though active smoker can willingly reduce the consumption a passive smoker is helpless in doing so. So we must first curb this practice and undertake not to be silent on the issue," said Dr Karnail Singh adding that one could stop people from smoking at public places.

Dr Mohinder Singh, a dermatologist enumerated adverse affects of smoking and tobacco consumption on skin. He disclosed that limbs of large number tobacco addicts had to be amputated. "As skin is a significant organ acting a barrier to majority of pathogens we must safeguard it in case we want to remain healthy".

Ms Kamla Devi Sharma and Ms Shikha Bharti called upon the students to identify their role in maintaining a healthy society. Khem Singh led students in taking an oath on the occasion. Representing students, Kamal assured the authorities that they would work hard to eradicate the menace from society.

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Most consumers die at productive age
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 31
Keeping up the spirit behind observing World No Tobacco Day, the Christian Medical College (CMC) and its associates, nursing and dental colleges today called upon people to shun all forms of tobacco consumption that was leading to preventable deaths worldwide. The hospital team also fervently asked various constituents of society, especially the promoters of these products, to join the fight against this menace.

Addressing a seminar at the CMC, pulmonologist Dr Akashdeep remarked that an estimated five million people died of tobacco consumption worldwide. If tobacco consumption continued at this rate, the number of such deaths was expected to double by year 2020. Many of these deaths occurred in the productive years of an adult life, as a result of an addiction acquired in youth.

“In addition to damage to personal health, tobacco use also results in severe societal costs like reduced productivity and health care burden, environmental damage and poverty of the families. Statistics show that the degree and cost of destruction caused by tobacco use surpasses the returns generated by tobacco production and its consumption in terms of revenue and employment”, he maintained.

According to Dr Akashdeep, in India the prevalence of tobacco use among men was more than 50 per cent while among women it was around 25 per cent. The failure to appreciate the magnitude of the harm that tobacco caused was one of the biggest reasons for its widespread use across our country.

Dr Mohan Verghese, senior cardiac surgeon, stated that India was the second largest producer and consumer of tobacco in the world. “Our markets are flooded with tobacco products that can be consumed in a wide variety of ways like smoking, chewing, applying, sucking, gargling etc. And all these forms and their usage are extremely dangerous for human health. Tobacco usage can affect every organ of our body causing a wide range of diseases from cancers, heart disease to lung disease”.

A senior consultant in the Christian Dental College, Dr N.C. Maan, cautioned that oral cancers of lips, gums, palate, tongue and cheeks accounted for 40 per cent of all cancers. The sad aspect of this phenomenon was that these conditions could lead to total removal of the affected portion and the total life quality of the victim was ruined.

Dr Mann made a special mention of the rising problem of tobacco abuse among schoolchildren in forms of zarda, cigarettes, paan masala and the latest fad of “hukka smoking”. He advised the youth not to be lured by misleading advertisements and peer pressure.

Dr Benjamin, professor of preventive medicine at the CMC, called for a complete ban on tobacco products. He said, “Unless cohesive steps are taken by all the entities of the Central and state governments, it is very difficult to check this menace. NGOs and educational institutions can play a crucial role in awareness generation towards the dangers of tobacco consumption”.

The district health administration also organised a seminar at the Civil Hospital here today. Chief guest Dr Sat Pal Sharma and other speakers cautioned people against the use of tobacco, which could cause a variety of diseases of lungs, heart, mouth and kidneys, besides various types of cancers.

Dr Kuldip Kaur Sahni, senior medical officer at the Civil Hospital, and Dr Yash Pal Mehta from the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital were also present on the occasion.

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Shun tobacco for healthy society
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 31
“Leave tobacco, live longer” was the message that the students of Saraswati Modern School, Pratap Singhwala, spread during an awareness campaign on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day here today.

Around 100 students passed through various areas of Pratap Singhwala to spread awareness about the need to lead a tobacco free life. They were carrying banners and pamphlets and were brimming with energy. They intended to spread the message about the dangers of consuming tobacco and how it spoilt the social fabric of the nation as well as family ties.

The students met people of various age groups and talked to them about the need to have a healthy and tobacco free society. Sunit Mahajan delivered a lecture on how to lead a stress free life and find a healthy solution to problems of daily life.

Headmistress of the school Priyanka told the children about the ill-effects of consuming tobacco. She said creating awareness was the only solution to the problem.

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Youth needs monetary help for cardiac surgery

Ludhiana, May 31
Imran, a 19-year-old boy, Muslim youth, is in urgent need of financial assistance for a cardiac surgery to be performed at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here.

The expensive surgical procedure, needed to save the victim, is beyond the means of his family.

A resident of Malerkotla town, Imran, has been suffering from cardiac complications for the past six years due to which he could not study after matriculation.His father runs a small grocery kiosk and the elder brother is a casual labourer. Imran has a younger sister as well. The family, living in a rented house, does not own any property and has no other source of income.

According to Dr Mohan Verghese, senior cardiac surgeon at the CMCH, the condition of Imran has deteriorated over the past six months. "The patient needs immediate surgery and implantation of two valves in his heart. Otherwise the chances of his survival are slim," he added.

This surgery will cost around Rs 2 lakh for which the CMCH authorities have made an appeal to the public to provide as much financial help as possible to save the youth's life.

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Growing pollution a serious threat to society: DC
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, May 31
Non-government organisations can play an effective role to control the growing pollution by motivating people, who do not take it seriously and are not aware of its drastic results for society, said Alaknanda Dyal, deputy commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib.

She was addressing a seminar organised by the Punjab Pollution Control Board in collaboration with Good Earth Club, Fatehgarh Sahib, and Punjab Green Saviours, Mandi Gobindgarh, at the local Municipal Complex today. Students of Mata Gujari College were present in good strength.

Dayal pointed out that a grant of Rs 10 lakh for upgrading the sewer and drainage system for the local Municipal Council is being released soon, so that cleanliness may be given top priority to safeguard the public health.

She stressed the need to prepare an action plan to achieve meaningful results.

D.K. Dua, section engineer of the Punjab Pollution Control Board, appealed to the local industrialists to pay attention to the water and air pollution in this industrial town of the state.

D.R Puri, manager of Centurian Bank of Punjab, Mandi Gobindgarh, said the bank would plant 1000 saplings and had adopted a park from the Municipal Council for maintenance.

Shiromani Punjabi poet Surjit Singh Marjara highlighted the importance of shady trees through a song. Club chief Amir Chand Dhawan was worried about the diminishing trees from the hills and plains, which would become essential for the survival of all living beings. 

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New tehsildar holds meeting
Our Correspondent

Khamano, May 31
The new tehsildar, Major Gurjindr Singh Benipal (retd) of Khamano, held a meeting with lamberdars of Khamano at Amrit Palace, Farour.

In his inaugural address Major Gurjindr appealed the lamberdars to mobilise people to complete khangi takseem to save minor cases.

He also appealed them to verify the concerned persons after a correct verification. Vice-president Sardara Singh Sandhari Majra and General Secretary Mohinder Singh Jatana thanked the guests on the occasion. Naib tehsildar Balwinder Singh was also present during the function.

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Youth in hiding due to ‘loan shark’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana,May 31
Loan sharks have allegedly become active again in the city with a youth allegedly living in hiding in fear of goons of a moneylender for the past over a week.

The youth, Rama Shankar, has in a complaint to SSP R.K Jaiswal, claimed that he had borrowed Rs 28,000 from a moneylender.He repaid more than Rs 60,000 but the financier claimed his loan still stands.

He alleged that the moneylender had also snatched his motorcycle. Shankar,who is a tailor claimed he was suffering from TB and had paid much more than the amount he had borrowed.

The city police has not taken any action on his complaint so far. 

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Office-bearers elected
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 31
The following have been elected office-bearers of the Technical Services Union, Amloh division, comprising sub-units of Amloh, Bhadson and Tohra: president-Manjinder Singh; vice-president-Mohal Lal; secretary-Jangir Singh; assistant secretary-Joginder Singh Jalla; and cashier-Dharam Singh Raisal.

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Firing in bank: Gunman arrested
Our Correspondent

Khamano, May31
A gunman of cooperative bank, Kheri Naudh Singh, near here, fired in the air to express his anger about his transfer to head office, Sirhind.

According to branch manager Kashmira Singh, ex-serviceman Avtar Singh, was working in the bank as a gunman.

His transfer orders were issued by the head office but he was insisting to stay here. Due to the orders, he was relieved and orders were handed over to him.

Avtar Singh left the bank but returned after some time in a drunken state. He entered the bank gate and fired in the air causing a scare among employees and customers.

He was handed over to the police by bank employees.

The police has registered a case under Section 336 of the IPC and 27,54 and 59 of the Arms Act.

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Electroplating industry to adhere to deadline, CETP to be inaugurated 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 31
Irrespective of a lukewarm response from within the industry itself, the electroplating industry has decided to put into operation the Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP).

Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) officials, for the time being,have decided to adopt a wait- and-watch policy before taking action against the units that do not become the members. Individual checking of units would be done by the board in case the situation does not improve.

Electroplating units face threat of closure if they fail to adhere to the deadline set by the P.Ram Committee to put this treatment plant into operation.

A special purpose vehicle(SPV) was set up for the purpose. However,the industry gave a lukewarm response and of the total nearly 500 electroplating units, the number of those who availed of membership is only around 140.

Fewer members not only means that the ones who do not get their waste treated face an action,but also the functioning of the treatment plant could be affected. With this in view, the SPV has now invited bar drawing and wire drawing industries also to become members of the SPV.

The plant, that has a capacity of treating 33 lakh litres of water a day, due to low membership would have to sustain with less than 1 lakh litres during initial stages. "On an average a unit generates around 200 litres of water a day. This is much lesser than the total capacity but we have to go ahead with it due to the deadline," said Joginder Kumar, chairman of the SPV of the Effluent Treatment Society.

While PPCB officials said they would not take a lenient view of the units that fail to get their waste treated, they said a concrete plan on the action to be taken was yet to be finalised. "We would wait for a few days before taking a strict action. Individual checkings would begin after a few days if the situation does not improve," an official said.

SPV functionaries said the decision to rope in more industries was taken only after the lukewarm response from within electroplating units themselves. "It is not possible for the plant to sustain for a long time if the waste quantity that is to be treated remains abysmally low.

To tackle the situation, we decided to invite other industries as their representatives have assured us that they would avail memberships. Besides, we feel that after the other units realise the convenience that they would get due to the treatment plant, they too would avail of the membership.

The hassle they might have to go through in case they fail to tackle their waste would not be lesser which is why we think the situation would improve gradually." 

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