C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Speeding car kills two young KFC managers
Tribune News Service

Arjun Singh
Arjun Singh

Rajesh Yadav
Rajesh Yadav

Chandigarh, July 5
Three persons, including two youths, were killed in two accidents during the past 24 hours here.

Arjun Singh, 23, and Rajesh Yadav, 26, both residents of Chandi Mandir employed with the Sector 8 KFC, were killed when a Maruti Baleno car (HP-12-B-2510) on high speed rammed into their Bajaj Platinum motorcycle (UP-20-M-5258) at Press Chowk at 3:30 am.

The car driver, on a joyride, was allegedly under the influence of liquor. He was in his under- garments when arrested by the police. He told the police that he was enjoying a drive in his air- conditioned car.

The two were employed as team managers in the fast food joint and were on their way home after work. Arjun is survived by his wife and a seven-month-old daughter. Rajesh is survived by his wife and a two-month-old son. They had joined KFC about a year ago. The food joint remained closed as a mark of respect to the deceased.

The victim’s colleagues, who were eyewitnesses to the gory accident, told the police that the car was at high speed. It dragged the victims along with the motor cycle up to a distance of 50 metres. The stretch of the road was stained with blood. The victims suffered head injuries, which led to their deaths. The bike was crushed while the car’s front portion was badly damaged.

The victims, along with two more colleagues, were on their way to Sector 17 to dine. As soon as they had reached the traffic lights crossing, the car rammed into their bike. Both were wearing helmets, which were crushed. They were rushed to the PGI by their colleagues in their car, where they were declared “brought dead”.

Rajesh’s father suffers from cancer and is admitted to the PGI. The police arrested car driver Mahinder Singh of Solan district for causing death due to rash and negligent driving. The car belonged to a Nalagarh-based private company.

Scooterist dead

Mohali: 77-year-old Karnail Singh of Phase VII, Mohali, was severely injured when his scooter was hit by a truck at Modella Traffic Lights Point last night. The accident took place at 9:30 pm. The victim died in hospital later.



Snag clogs highway traffic
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Banur, July 5
Thousands of commuters and motorists had a harrowing time this morning following traffic jams on the Banur-Rajpura and Banur-Tepla roads here.

These were caused by hundreds of trucks parked along both sides of the roads in the wake of a technical snag in the computer system of the sales tax barrier here. There were long queues of vehicles stretching several kilometres on both sides.

The dismal traffic management system of the Punjab police was evident with the skeletal staff a mute spectator to the situation. Frantic calls for help by harassed commuters and motorists, stuck in the jams for several hours, fell on deaf ears.

Sources said due to the technical snag in the computer system since yesterday, sales tax receipts could not be issued to the truck operators. As result, hundreds of trucks parked on both sides of the road caused traffic congestion.

The situation deteriorated with certain over-zealous motorists trying to overtake from the wrong side.

With no police personnel to regulate the traffic in the wee hours, it was a free-for-all, Ashish Kumar, stranded for almost three hours, alleged.

Ashish Kumar, who took the Ambala-Rajpura road to reach Chandigarh after landing at New Delhi from Australia, alleged that response came after 30 minutes when he dialled the police control room at 100. When at last he was connected, the personnel expressed helplessness, saying he was with the Haryana police.

There was another jam at the Shambu barrier on the Punjab-Haryana border on National Highway-1. As water was being flushed out from a road near Zirakpur, traffic diversions added to the commuters’ misery.



Admission Chaos Day II
Forms misplaced; parents clash with staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Confusion and frayed tempers reigned once again on the second day of counselling for the Class XI admissions to government schools in the general category at Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSC), Sector 23, in the city today.

While tents and water to provide respite from the blistering heat had been provided at various spots on and outside the school premises, it did not help the students much. Those, who had been given a specific time, had to wait for several hours before their turns came.

The most common complaint amongst parents and students was that forms filled earlier and submitted could not be found as the numbers were being called out.

An irate parent recounting his problems said despite his daughter’s high marks (86.8 per cent), when her number was called out, her form could not be located. The teachers at the library, where all forms were lying, told her to look for her form herself. “She got upset and started to cry. At that point, we were told to leave our children alone as they had to fill in the forms again. How can we leave our child in such a condition,” said the parent.

The whole process was termed as “harassing” by another parent saying that right from the beginning, when forms were not easily available, to submitting them and now today was a “difficult and undisciplined process.”

In the midst of all this, an argument broke out amongst parents and staffers in the auditorium where the counselling was taking place.

While students with 80.2 per cent marks were being called, those with a marginally higher percentage had been left out.

Students applying for the commerce stream preferred GMSSC-16 which had 79.6 per cent cut-off.

In the science stream, maximum students stated a preference for GMSSC-16 whose cut-off was 85 per cent.

Like the previous years, the largest number of students preferred Sectors 35 and 16 schools.

All seats for the science stream have been filled at GMSSSs 16, 35, 19 and 33. All seats in the commerce stream are filled at the Sector 16 school.

The cut-off in the science stream at model schools 19 and 33 was 77.2 per cent and 77 per cent, respectively.

The seats for science, commerce and arts are lying vacant in other schools.

Tomorrow on July 6, students with 66 per cent marks and above will be called for interviews in the general category.



BSNL forms probe panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
BSNL today announced the formation of a committee to look into the reasons behind Saturday’s fire and if there had been a sabotage. The committee has been formed under the directions of the chairman-cum-managing director.

The committee will comprise five members, including the GM (telecommunication and development), who will be chairman. “The committee has been asked to determine the cause of the fire and see if there had been failure of fire alarm system,” said SR Aggarwal, principal GM (operations).

"If there is any sabotage or if there has been any departmental slackness in the incident, it will be investigated by the committee, which will give its report by July 15," stated Rajender Singh, BSNL Chief GM.

Reports suggested that a short-circuit in an air-conditioner had caused the fire.



SC verdict puts admin in spot
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
With the Supreme Court approving acquisition of 350 acres by the Chandigarh administration in Mani Majra, the plan to relocate over hundreds of affected families is likely to come to a halt. This would also mean monetary losses to the affected persons.

The process to acquire the land (from pocket no. 1 to 6 and from pocket no. 9 to 11) on behalf of the municipal corporation was initiated in 1989. The affected persons, including shopkeepers, had moved the apex court.

Though the Chandigarh land acquisition office had initiated the acquisition process in the early nineties, possession of selective pockets alone could be handed over to the municipal corporation. Since then, a number of illegal residential structures had come up.

Under its policy to approve illegal structures, the administration had put up a strong case before the court. The court observed that having electricity and water connection did not mean that houses could be regularised. Approved building plans could, however, be the basis of regularising structures. In the past, the administration has exempted about 40 acres under Section 48 of the Land Acquisition Act in Mani Majra. Five acres of land was exempted in pocket no.6 and 4.5 acres in pocket no.8 ( Darshani Bagh) was released in 2003.

Verdict may affect the following:

  • 30 acres of acquired land of Deep Complex, Hallo Majra,
  • Acquisition of land for IT park
  • Scheme to rehabilitate slum dwellers



Mistakes in circulation for 22 years
Sikh miniatures catalogue full of errors
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

A Government Museum catalogue on Sikh miniatures describes the above portrait as that of Raja Saroop Singh of Jeend, whereas it is the portrait of Raja Gajpat Singh of Jeend. The actual portrait of Raja Saroop Singh is shown below but that, too, has been wrongly identified in the catalogue.
A Government Museum catalogue on Sikh miniatures describes the above portrait as that of Raja Saroop Singh of Jeend, whereas it is the portrait of Raja Gajpat Singh of Jeend. The actual portrait of Raja Saroop Singh is shown below but that, too, has been wrongly identified in the catalogue.
A Government Museum catalogue on Sikh miniatures describes the above portrait as that of Raja Saroop Singh of Jeend, whereas it is the portrait of Raja Gajpat Singh of Jeend. The actual portrait of Raja Saroop Singh is shown below but that, too, has been wrongly identified in the catalogue.

Chandigarh, July 5
Published in 1985 and reprinted in 2001, the catalogue of Sikh miniatures in Government Museum, Sector 10, continues to be in circulation with some major errors. These errors, of identification and repetition, have been surfacing time and again during research on the subject by scholars.

Most of the slip-ups pertain to mistaken identities of subjects in the paintings or to periods during which these paintings were done. Miniatures in the first chapter - Janam Sakhi - don’t appear chronologically, as preface of the catalogue claims.

The very first painting in Janam Sakhi is traced to the late 19th century, while those from 12 to 83 are dated mid-18th century. From ’84 onwards, the catalogue again features Janam Sakhis from the late 19th century. Scholars say this needs correction urgently to prevent confusion.

At certain places serious mistakes occur. The document attributes some Janam Sakhis dated middle 18th century to the Guler school. Historians, however, say there is no evidence of influence of Sikh painters in Guler during this time. The period between 1740 and 1765 AD witnessed repeated raids of Ahmad Shah Abdali in Punjab and its hills. Guler paintings, which are dated mid-18th century in the catalogue, must have been executed in the early 19th century after the Sikhs rose to power in Punjab hills.

Similarly, the catalogue describes a miniature portrait of Maharaja Ranjit Singh sporting a white beard as dated early 19th century, which means it should have been painted in 1801 to 1805. However, the first sketch of Ranjit Singh was drawn by a Delhi painter Jiwan Ram at Ropar in 1831. In this sketch the maharaja sports a half-grey beard. Naturally, the Ranjit Singh portrait in the catalogue was painted after 1831. Similarly, a portrait of Sher Singh in the catalogue is dated mid-19th century (1850 AD) whereas Sher Singh lived from 1807 to 1843.

Several errors of identity surface in “Sufi and Saints”, chapter II of the catalogue, which mentions figure number 73, accession number 3,162 as a Guru Gobind Singh portrait. “When you study the contours minutely, you realise it is actually Guru Hargobind’s painting,” says Prof J.S. Bhatia, a Sikh scholar, commissioned by the Sikh Intellectual Forum and the SGPC to produce a catalogue on Sikh paintings.

At present teaching at Punjabi University, Patiala, Bhatia has given a written representation to museum director VN Singh, mentioning many errors and requesting correction.

“At many places in the catalogue, paintings have been repeated under different descriptions. A painting described at one place as Guru Nanak’s has been described at another place as Guru Angad’s. Another serious error pertains to the mix-up of identities of kings. The portrait described as Raja Saroop Singh’s (of Jeend) in the catalogue is actually of Raja Gajpat Singh’s (of Jeend),” observes Bhatia.

Similarly, another portrait against figure number 66, accession number 3,946, appearing on page 69, described as that of Raja Amar Singh of Patiala is actually that of Narinder Singh.

This portrait, historical records show, was drawn before the execution of a wall painting of Narinder Singh at Sheesh Mahal in Quila Mubarak, Patiala. The painting still exists and bears stark similarities to the portrait described as Amar Singh’s.

At other places, the catalogue fails to identify the subjects of paintings; often it names the subjects wrongly, misleading the scholars.

Admitting to all errors, which are hampering research, VN Singh said he would soon order a reprint, which would have no errors.



Anandgarh project
Farmers seek de-notification
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The Supreme Court decision on the scrapped Anandgarh project has brought cheers to the residents of Sinhgpura village in Zirakpur.

In fact, buoyed by the apex court judgement, the Kisan Anti-Eviction Forum, a representative body of the farmers of Singhpura, Nagla and Ramgarh Bhudda, has now demanded the de-notification of the land, which was proposed to be acquired for the state-of-the-art Zirakpur urban estate on the Chandigarh-Ambala road.

Third time lucky

The Supreme Court decision has come as a shot in the arm for 300 bazigar families of Singhpura. The bazigars had displaced from Pakistan during the Partition as well. Subsequently they were forced out of Karsan village in Chandigarh. The latest decision would mean that they would not evicted forcibly from their land this time at least.

“With the SC delivering the judgement in favour of the farmers, the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) should issue a formal order in public interest for the de-notification of the land in the three villages,” JS Jaggi, convener of the forum, told The Tribune here today.

In the wake of the judgement, PUDA was legally bound to de-notify the area as the local civic body was dragging its feet on the development front till the de-notification process was nullified by PUDA, Jaggi asserted.

In fact, with PUDA yet to de-notify the land the development activity had come to standstill in three villages. Singhpura was recently included in the Zirakpur nagar panchayat by the Department of Local Bodies. Though the village was incorporated in the nagar panchayat yet the parallel notification for acquisition of land was still in progress.

On July 3 the apex court had dismissed a number of appeals filed by the Punjab government and its urban bodies challenging the Punjab and Haryana High Court orders quashing or staying the compulsory land acquisition notifications. While granting stay on the acquisition of land for the Zirakpur urban estate, the high court had tagged this case with the Anandgarh case.

The forum has urged the Punjab cooperation minister and the Banur MLA, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, to prevail upon the PUDA authorities to denotify the area. Before the February elections in the state, Capt Kanwaljit Singh had gone on record opposing the urban estate project.



Parking Pangs
UT has space on mind
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Vehicles parked haphazardly along Madhya Marg in Chandigarh on Thursday.
Vehicles parked haphazardly along Madhya Marg in Chandigarh on Thursday. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, July 5
In order to tackle the increasing menace of overcrowding of vehicles in parking lots of markets along Madhya Marg, the Chandigarh administration plans to increase the parking space and also regulate parking areas.

Things have come to such a pass that vehicles can often be seen parked along Madhya Marg at certain places. The parking lots of markets, particularly Sectors 7, 8, 9 and 26, are always crammed with vehicles. Vehicles can also be seen parked on the divider in front of the markets along Madhya Marg.

Problem areas

  • Besides the overcrowded parking, it is a common sight to see cars parked along available passages, road berms and even along Madhya Marg
  • The rear side of showrooms has ill-maintained bylanes, irregular traffic and trucks parked randomly for unloading
  • The rear side of showrooms is not properly used for parking, particularly by owners

The engineering department has prepared an elaborate plan to increase and regulate the parking space along the entire Madhya Marg.

A presentation of the parking plan is scheduled to placed before Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), UT Administrator, shortly.

S.K. Sandhu, finance secretary and secretary, engineering department, said: “The patch of green belt along Madhya Marg will be fitted with blocks to make additional parking space for vehicles.”

He said: “There is no fear of any major loss of green cover in the area because the growth of grass at the moment is insignificant. Trees are important and the department will leave sufficient space near roots for the water to percolate down. Mud from this patch of land spills on to roads when it rains. Not just a traffic hazard, this mud also blocks sewers during the rains.”

The department has decided to develop additional parking space at the rear side of showrooms. In the first phase, shopkeepers will be asked to park at the rear and leave the front for customers.

The department has also considered multi-level parking at certain spots, if found fit. Work on cleaning back lanes is under way in Sectors 8 and 9.



‘Raw’ land deal
Mohali resident seeks action against 2 NRIs
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 5
A resident of Phase IX has demanded strict action against two NRIs for allegedly playing fraud with him over the purchase of a plot in Industrial Area, Phase VII, here.

Amarjit Singh Virk said at a press conference here today that the father-son duo allegedly failed to get the plot registered in his name even when the payment was made by him.

He said he had decided to purchase the plot in 2004 for Rs 55 lakh. He paid Rs 45 lakh to the owner and the remaining Rs 10 lakh was to be paid at the time of getting the property registered. The owner of the plot failed to come to India on the date fixed for the job.

Virk said in October, 2005, both came to India and asked him to give them more money for the plot as prices had gone up. The price of the plot was then fixed at Rs 67 lakh and the remaining Rs 22 lakh was also paid to the owner.

He said after receiving the amount, the owner allegedly said he had requested the PSIEC to transfer the plot in the name of his son on the basis of power of attorney. And it would be transferred in the name of Virk only after it was transferred in the name of his son.

Virk claimed that the plot was transferred in the name of the owner’s son in December, 2005. But later, neither of them allegedly came to India to get the plot transferred in his (Virk’s) name.

He further alleged that when he contacted the owner on the telephone, he was allegedly told that the plot could be given to him only if he was ready to pay Rs 93 lakh for it. He said he then approached the police, which registered a case under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC against the father, the son and three others.

Virk said the owner again approached him and persuaded him to purchase the plot for Rs 93 lakh to which he finally agreed and paid another Rs 26 lakh to him. He said later the owner visited India and withdrew the money that the buyer had deposited in the bank and left the country without getting the property transferred in his name.

Virk claimed that the owner of the plot also made efforts to get the case registered against the five persons cancelled.

He said the case was with the economic offences wing and the police was still investigating.



Mono Rail
Sukhbir meets Rodrigues
Says Punjab ready to fund its share

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
In what could bring about an infrastructure boom in Mohali and Zirakpur, the working president of the SAD, Sukhbir Singh Badal, today met the UT administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), and asked that Chandigarh be connected with Mohali and Zirakpur through the mono rail project.

Sukhbir asked the administrator to urge the centre for its early implementation.

Sukhbir apprised the administrator, who is also the Governor of Punjab, that he had already discussed the project with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal who had reacted “most favourably” to the exciting prospect of seeing a world-class high-speed mono rail connecting Chandigarh with emerging urban model destinations Mohali and Zirakpur.

The initiative by Sukhbir assumes significance in the light of his declared “Punjab vision” about providing the state with world-class communications infrastructure.

At today’s meeting, he asked General Rodrigues that the Punjab Chief Minister had expressed his government's willingness to bear the cost of construction of rail infrastructure in the Punjab part of the total network.

Sukhbir also congratulated the Governor for visualising the scheme for Chandigarh and said extension of this to the twin Punjab towns would go down in history as his (the Governor’s) “historic contribution to the state of Punjab”.

The Punjab CM had suggested a joint venture between Punjab and Chandigarh for this project. He said that this project, when completed, would be able to reduce vehicular congestion and the resultant pollution in the tricity area, apart from reducing the commuting time.

An SAD press note here said the Governor responded favorably to the idea.



2 parties get contract
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 5
The sanitation contract for the town was awarded to two parties at a meeting held by deputy commissioner’s nominee SDM Varinder Dahiya, MC president Manvir Gill and three councillors here today.

While the contract for zone 1 was awarded for Rs 7.85 lakh, the contract for zone 2 was awarded for 8.6 lakh. Four companies were shortlisted after which the committee selected those contractors whose turnover was over Rs 3.5 crore.

The two parties, from Kapurthala and Chandigarh, have been told to recruit a specified number of employees, failing which stringent action will be taken against them. A security of Rs 2 lakh each has been taken from the parties.



US Independence Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The American Corner at the Central State Library, Sector 17, Chandigarh, celebrated the American Independence Day yesterday. To mark the occasion, a paper show was organised depicting the history of the USA.

A movie show of the Independence Day was also organised.



Tips for safe driving
Congested crossroads

Here’s where commonsense and consideration applies. Car No. 3 should wait at least until Car No. 1 has been able to cross in front of it. It would be considerate to let the other two behind No. 1 go as well, but unless No. 1 can move, Nos. 1 and 2 will never be able to turn, and the whole junction will get jammed. No. 1 must look out for traffic passing on the left of No. 3 and give way to it, as must all who may be given a chance to follow No. 1.

‘Road rage hurts only you!

Courtesy: Safe Driving, compiled by Cdr Swarup J Sarma



Extend date for filing IT returns

July is usually a busy period for salaried employees and small businessmen as they prepare or get the income tax returns prepared during this time. This year, the income tax department had notified new income tax return forms in mid May. The new forms are not available easily. The department is working hard to provide new IT forms to the tax payees and had also advertised through print media asking for tenders to print new forms, which probably have been processed in the last week of June. Keeping in view the printing and delivery period, it is evident that the stationery will not be available to taxpayers before the last date of filing of returns i.e. July 31 (for the above mentioned categories). The tax payers also need time to understand the new forms. Thus, for convenience of the tax payers, it is requested that the last date for filing of returns be extended to October 31.

R.K. Garg, Chandigarh

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Chain snatcher chased down
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
In a dramatic manner, the local police arrested a Ram Darbar resident on an allegation of snatching a gold chain from a woman in Sector 32 this afternoon.

The SHO of the Sector 31 police station, inspector Har Sahai Sharma, said Seema of Sector 31 was on her way back home after taking her children from school. On the way, an unidentified pedestrian intercepted her and snatched her gold chain. She raised the alarm and to her luck, a police team reached there. The miscreant ran into a jungle area. After about an hour, the police managed to nab the miscreant. He has been identified as 25-year-old Suresh Kumar of Phase I, Ram Darbar.

The accused suffered bruises while on the run and was taken to hospital for treatment. The police said it was yet to recover the gold chain from the accused which, he claimed, he had lost in the jungle.

Girl abducted

A resident of Bapu Dham Colony lodged a complaint against his 22-year-old neighbour, Imran, alleging that the latter had kidnapped his 16-year-old daughter on July 1. He told the police that he was making efforts on his own to trace the girl and did not report the matter to the police.

A case under Sections 363 and 366 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered in this connection.

Car stolen

Deepak Dhiman of Sector 42-B reported to the police alleging that his Maruti Esteem car (CH-01-S-7377) was stolen from the parking lot of Hotel Park Inn on Wednesday night. A case has been registered in the Sector 36 police station.


Dharamvir of Sector 41 reported to the police alleging that gold ornaments were stolen from his residence by breaking open locks. He was out of station with his family on July 2 and returned this morning. A case has been registered in this regard.



Man held for defrauding four
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 5
The police has arrested a resident of Sector 68 for allegedly cheating four persons on the pretext of sending them to the UK.

Police sources said the accused, Kiranpreet, was arrested following the complaint of a Mohali resident, Paramjit Singh, who alleged that he along with three other persons had give Rs 5 lakh each to Kiranpreet.

Kiranpreet had taken their passports from them and promised to get them visas for England. However, he neither sent them abroad nor return their money.

Car stolen, found

The Mohali police recovered a car just a block away from where it was reportedly stolen from Phase VII here last night.

Sources said the car belonging to Jagman Singh, an employee of Bank of Punjab, was stolen from outside the bank last night.

Jagman Singh reported the matter to the police control room when he noticed the car missing from the parking around 9.30 pm.

The PCR team led by in charge Lakhvinder Singh reached the spot.

A search revealed that the car was parked in the next block and the registration papers of the car were missing from it.

Jagman told the police that he had kept Rs 52,000 in cash in the car’s glove compartment, which were intact.

One killed

Harminderjit Singh was killed in an accident last night. An unidentified speeding vehicle hit him when he was standing outside the shop he worked in near Lambian village here. The police has registered a case.



Tax Revenue
MC wants its share up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
City mayor Harjinder Kaur today demanded an increase in the share of the MC in the assigned taxes from 17 per cent to 30 per cent of the total tax revenue of the UT administration due to transfer of five villages to it, besides additional functions.

She said the administration had provided less grant-in-aid to the tune of Rs 40.53 crore during the year. She said the amount should be released to the MC at the earliest.

She was addressing a meeting of a team of the Delhi Finance Commission and officers and city councillors at the UT guest house here today.

The Delhi team was headed by M.K. Bazbrua.

The mayor said the administration was providing budgetary support to the MC in the shape of grant-in-aid which was inclusive of the corporation’s share of taxes in accordance with provisions contained in section 90 (6) of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, as extended to the UT, Chandigarh, collected by the administration on behalf of the MC.

At present, the grant-in-aid provided by the administration included all taxes, duties and fees collected by the administration on its behalf.

She requested the commission to make recommendation for sanctioning of funds.

She said as per recommendations of the second Delhi Finance Commission, some grants given to the MC should be made conditional for mobilisation of own resources. For this purpose, an incentive amount of 50 per cent of collection from any new tax proposed and implemented be transferred as grant-in-aid to the MC by the administration.

Demanding more powers for the corporation, she said roads and horticulture and licensing department should be given to the corporation.



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