SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI






THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

SC no to review J&K govt plea
Shifting of terrorists to state jails
New Delhi, November 26
The Supreme Court today declined to entertain a review petition of the Jammu and Kashmir government against its order transferring 35 Pakistani nationals, including some terrorists, to the state from various jails in the country for expeditious trial.

UP to set up anti-terror squads
Lucknow, November 26
To fulfil her promise of a ‘bhaymukt samaj’, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati today announced creation of a special anti-terrorist squad on the lines of Maharashtra and Karnataka and a technologically savvy intelligence cadre.

Lawyers hold placards and shout slogans during a protest against Friday's blasts at the Civil Court premises in Lucknow Lawyers hold placards and shout slogans during a protest against Friday's blasts at the Civil Court premises in Lucknow on Monday.
— PTI photo





EARLIER STORIES


I was forced to leave: Taslima
Kolkata, November 26
Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen today said she was forced to depart from Kolkata at such a short notice that she did not find time even to change her clothes. “I was forced to leave Kolkata and had to leave in the clothes I was wearing. You can well understand from this how quickly I was made to shift,” Taslima said.

Prakash to quit JD(S)
Hubli, November 26
Senior JD(S) leader in Karnataka M.P Prakash today announced that he had decided to quit the party and launched a blistering attack on party chief H.D Deve Gowda and his son, former Chief Minister H.D Kumaraswamy.

Pending Cases
CJI trains guns on Centre, state govts
New Delhi, November 26
Chief Justice of India K.G Balakrishnan today sought to shift the blame for piling up of a huge burden of pending cases with the courts to the central and state governments for not providing the requisite infrastructure backup in terms of funds and increasing the number of judges.

Parliament nod to Central rule in Karnataka
New Delhi, November 26
Both the Houses of Parliament today approved a Presidential proclamation bringing Karnataka under President’s rule and keeping the 224-member state assembly under suspended animation to pave the way for the dissolution of the House to hold fresh elections.

AP minister in soup over advice on family planning
Hyderabad, November 26
Andhra Pradesh Labour Minister G.Vinod finds himself in a soup over his controversial advice to tribals not to undergo family planning operation and instead "multiply" their population.

Mukherjee to be Indian envoy to UK
New Delhi, November 26
The selection of Kamlesh Sharma as Commonwealth secretary-general is going to trigger off a chain of top-level diplomatic appointments. Shiv Shankar Mukherjee, currently Indian ambassador in Nepal, is likely to replace Sharma as Indian high commissioner in UK.

600 return home from refugee camp in Nandigram
Nandigram, November 26
Around 600 people, who had stayed back in refugee camps for fear of reprisals by CPM after its recapture of Nandigram, today returned home following assurances of security.

IAF to get Rs 80 cr for exercises with US
New Delhi, November 26
United Progressive Alliance’s coalition partners, the Left parties will have more on their hands to heckle the Congress-led government as an “in principle” clearance has been given for a grant of Rs 80 crore to the Indian Air Force for its participation in the in the prestigious Red Flag war games conducted by the US Air Force.

Pachauri gives preview of outlook for Bali, meets Manmohan
New Delhi, November 26
Ahead of largest convention on climate change at Bali in December, IPCC chairman R.K. Pachauri today said there was an unprecedented awareness among the public and leaders worldwide on realities related to climate change.

Melting glaciers, a cause for concern: Pachauri
Ahmedabad, November 26
Rapid melting of Himalayan glaciers has major implications for water supply in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change Rajendra Kumar Pachauri today said.

Transport not fundamental right, says SC
Rejects TN student’s plea for relief due to bandh
New Delhi, November 26
The Supreme Court today dismissed a petition by a school student from Tamil Nadu for Rs 1 lakh compensation for not being able to make it to the examination hall on the day the ruling DMK-sponsored bandh on the Ram Sethu issue had paralysed the state, saying availing state transport facility is not a “fundamental right”.

Approach apex court, HC tells Manu
New Delhi, November 26
The Delhi High Court today asked Manu Sharma, sentenced to life imprisonment in the Jessica Lall murder case, to approach the Supreme Court for seeking a copy of a notice issued by this court to one of his co-convict last November.

Translation of Argentinian court order on Q
CBI seeks more time from SC
New Delhi, November 26
The CBI today sought further time of four weeks from the Supreme Court to place before it the translated record of entire extradition proceedings against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattarochhi, the key accused in the two-decade-old Bofors payoff case.

Offering bribe is more serious offence than taking it: Court
New Delhi, November 26
Nothing that “offering bribe is a more serious offence than taking it,” a court here today sentenced a National Human Rights Commission employee to two years’ rigorous imprisonment (RI) for an attempt to bribe an SPG officer posted at the Central Secretariat.

Fight For ‘Self-Respect’
Man takes postmaster to court
New Delhi, November 26
A 78-year-old man’s fight for self-respect has gained momentum with a court here ordering registration of a case against a postmaster, who allegedly humiliated him when he opted for closing his pension accounts.

Bandh hits life in Jharkhand, 600 held
Ranchi, November 26
Normal life was affected and about 600 people were arrested today following incidents of violence and road blockades during the 12-hour Jharkhand bandh, called by several tribal outfits in protest against the death and injury of Adivasis in Assam on Saturday.

Pak movie against fundamentalism “paved way for meaningful cinema”
Panaji, November 26
Breaking from the mould of typical potboiler movies, the overwhelming success of controversial Pakistani film “Khuda Ke Liye” has not only been a refreshing change for the audience and filmmakers in that country but also paved the way for making more meaningful commercial cinema, the film’s director Shoaib Mansoor said today.

TN police to book students using mobile at schools
Chennai, November 26
Schoolchildren in Tamil Nadu will be booked by the police if they are caught using mobile telephones within school premises violating the state government’s ban. Twelve special police teams have been set up in Chennai to keep a watch on students who use mobile phones in schools despite the government’s ban.

Fire in train
Allahabad, November 26
A fire broke out in a compartment of the stationary Nauchandi Express train here this afternoon but there was no casualty, railway officials said. The incident took place around 12.30 p.m., shortly after the train coming from Saharanpur terminated at platform 8, North Central Railways spokesman Amit Malviya said.

Jobless NTT teachers begin fast
Dehra Dun, November 26
Fed up with the hollow promises of employment by the successive state governments, unemployed NTT teachers today launched fast unto death in front of the Vidhan Sabha building here in support of their demand.

Stranded Indian flight takes off
Jaipur, November 26
The Ahmedabad-Kolkata ‘Indian’ flight, which was stranded in the city after the pilot refused to fly the aircraft, took off this morning with 131 passengers on board. The flight, IC 261, had arrived here at 8.35 pm last night, nearly an hour behind the schedule.

Manipur Dy Speaker escapes bid on life
Imphal, November 26
Manipur Deputy Speaker M Shyam Kumar escaped unhurt when militants exploded a powerful bomb in interior Imphal East district today. However, two security personnel belonging to India Reserve Battalion and Kumar’s driver were injured by splinters, official sources said.

EU ‘watching’ IAEA talks
New Delhi, November 26
The 27-nation European Union is keeping a close watch on India’s ongoing negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency. EU’s envoy to India Daneille Smadja said the EU understood India’s interest in civilian nuclear energy cooperation and its growing energy needs.

Rs 12 cr ITTO aid for Jhumias
Agartala, November 26
In a bid to ensure viable economy for tribal Jhumias (shifting cultivators), China-based International Tropical Timber Organisation has given a green signal to financial support for Tripura.

Arunachal seeks 3 trade points with China
Guwahati, November 26
In a proposal to the Union Government, Arunachal Pradesh has sought three border-trade points on the Chinese frontier.

Copter deal could be scrapped
New Delhi, November 26
The UPA government’s second biggest armament deal to purchase 197 light helicopters for the Army at a whopping $600 million has run into rough weather and may be scrapped.

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SC no to review J&K govt plea
Shifting of terrorists to state jails

Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, November 26
The Supreme Court today declined to entertain a review petition of the Jammu and Kashmir government against its order transferring 35 Pakistani nationals, including some terrorists, to the state from various jails in the country for expeditious trial.

The state government wanted the court to change its direction stating that keeping them in the state’s jail was a great risk as earlier also there were attempts of jailbreak by some Pakistani prisoners in Kot Bilawal jail where they have to be detained.

He cited the two incidents of attempted jailbreak by hardened Pakistan terrorists when Maulana Masood Azhar was lodged there. Aazhar was later released in exchange for freeing the passengers of Indian Airlines plane hijack to Kandhar by some terrorists.

State’s counsel Anis Suhrawardy said a review petition was filed by him in the Court Registry for the change of the order on the transfer of all 35 Pakistanis to jails in the state, but it refused to accept it and “we want that a direction be issued to the registry for tagging it with the main matter”.

“We will not”, a Bench of Justices B.N.Agrawal and G.S.Singhvi said but told the state’s counsel that they would see during the next hearing as to what could be done to its request of flying these prisoners for attending courts on the trial dates after the affidavit is filed by the government.

The court was hearing a PIL by the Panthers Party president Bhim Singh for the expeditious trial of Pakistani prisoners lodged in various jails in the country for several years and deportation of those who had already completed the punishment awarded to them by courts.

Suhrawardy said the state government was in favour of detaining these prisoners in the jails they are presently lodged in other parts of the country and was ready to take them by plane to attend the courts in Jammu and Kashmir on hearing dates and back to the prisons.

“I am ready to furnish an undertaking on this and if this commitment is not fulfilled, the state is open to contempt of court action,” he said amid strong objection by Bhim Singh against entertaining such a plea of the state. The court eventually gave the state four weeks to file the affidavit regarding the status of cases against the Pakistani accused about whom there was some confusion.

The court, on October 8, had directed the Centre to transfer the 35 Pakistani prisoners mentioned by Bhim Singh in his list of over 50 Pakistanis, to Jammu and Kashmir giving a deadline of nine months to the state government to complete the trial against them.

The direction for transfer was issued by the court after it had ordered the deportation of 10 Pakistan nationals, who had been detained in various jails even after the completion of the sentence awarded to them.

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UP to set up anti-terror squads
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, November 26
To fulfil her promise of a ‘bhaymukt samaj’, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati today announced creation of a special anti-terrorist squad (ATS) on the lines of Maharashtra and Karnataka and a technologically savvy intelligence cadre.

Briefing the media, Mayawati said after the serial blasts on November 23 her government felt that there was a need for a specialised unit to defeat the designs of the terrorists.

Having its headquarters in Lucknow, the ATS would have units in all police zones - Lucknow, Varanasi, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Meerut and Bareilly.

It will be headed by an IG-rank officer and would have a DIG, an SP, an additional SP, and one DSP, besides other support staff. At the moment, Lucknow zone IG Arvind Jain is taking additional charge as IG ATS.

Another decision of far reaching consequence is the creation of a modern, technologically savvy and hi-tech intelligence cadre for the state.

According to the CM, while reviewing the security situation she was shocked to see that intelligence was still being gathered by the civil police (by sub-inspector and inspector-level personnel) in the manner as it was done during the British times.

“Keeping pace with the technological advancement, my government has decided to immediately create an independent intelligence cadre equipped by computer savvy officers having knowledge of more than one language.”

Mayawati said as these officers were required out of the ordinary skills, it has been decided to give them special grades. Till the time an independent cadre was not in place, eligible officers from the civil police would be taken in at a salary incentive of 25 per cent.

Her government sanctioned a budget of Rs 6.75 crore today for the purchase of sophisticated hi-tech equipment as according to her even the best officer can do precious little in the absence of technological back up.

Keeping the geographic size of the state in mind, the CM today decided to further strengthen the state’s elite Special Task Force by adding two more units. The West Zone unit would have its headquarters at Meerut while the East Zone would be at Varanasi.

Both the units would be under the DIG STF and would have an SP, additional SP and other support staff, said Mayawati.

In the context of the state’s present law and order situation, Mayawati has also written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requesting him to return 13 PAC companies station in Delhi to the state.

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Lawyers’ stir hits courts

New Delhi, November 26
Joining their counterparts in Uttar Pradesh, lawyers in several parts of the country today struck court work to protest against Friday’s terror strikes in Lucknow, Faizabad and Varanasi that took 14 lives.

While judicial work came to a standstill in UP, lawyers across Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh boycotted courts in the wake of a strike call given by the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh. Some lawyers were among those killed in bomb blasts on November 23 in the court premises at three places in UP.

Judicial work remained paralysed all over UP, the state Bar Council president Amrendra Nath Singh said, adding that the day was being observed as anti-terrorism day. In Luchnow, lawyers moved about in groups in the court compounds and raised slogans against terrorism.

Reports reaching here from Ranchi, Jodhpur and Jaipur in Rajasthan, Bhopal, Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh and Hyderabad spoke of protests by advocates. — PTI

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9 kin of HuJi militant detained

New Delhi, November 26
The police detained nine relatives of Mohammed Tuffail Hussaini, Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islamia (HuJI) militant who masterminded the 1993 train blasts, from eastern Uttar Pradesh in connection with UP serial blasts.

The police swooped on the residential premises of the relatives in Azamgarh and picked up nine of his relatives for questioning after certain leads suggested that a UP-based hawala operator Iqbal “Kana”, at present in Pakistan, had been supplying money to sleeper cells of HuJI.

The detention of nine relatives of Tuffail came within hours after his brother Faizul was picked up for questioning from his Ameenabad locality in Azamgarh.

The UP police and the central security agencies were vigorously pursuing the leads pertaining to Tuffail who is also on the wanted list of the CBI in connection with the serial blasts in trains between Mumbai and Jaipur. The investigating agency has also announced a cash reward of Rs 25,000 for his arrest.

The cops strongly suspect that Tuffail, who was also instrumental in arranging the cadres for HuJI, could have masterminded the Lucknow blasts as his previous plan to carry out serial explosions in buses had failed.

41-year-old Tuffail, heading the Mujahiddin Islam Al Hind which is perceived a shadow body of HuJI, is believed to have fled the country to Pakistan or Bangladesh via Kathmandu. — PTI

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Police picks up two Afghan nationals

Lucknow, November 26
Continuing efforts to nail terrorists involved in Friday’s serial bomb blasts, the Special Task Force of the Uttar Pradesh police today picked up two Afghan nationals, including a woman, for questioning.

While police officials were tightlipped about the ‘detentions’, a source said Tabrez Zaidi and his wife Hyat were picked from the Rajajipuram area here this evening for questioning. — UNI

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I was forced to leave: Taslima

Kolkata, November 26
Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen today said she was forced to depart from Kolkata at such a short notice that she did not find time even to change her clothes.

“I was forced to leave Kolkata and had to leave in the clothes I was wearing. You can well understand from this how quickly I was made to shift,” Taslima said.

Asked who had made her leave Kolkata, the writer replied, “ I won’t say.”

Without giving details of how she went from Kolkata to Jaipur on November 22, she said, “I don’t want to recollect those moments.”

Asked if she was not being allowed to return to West Bengal, she said, “I will not speak on that. I am waiting every second, every minute, every hour to return to my home in Kolkata.”

“Yes” she said briefly when asked whether she was waiting to hear from West Bengal government.

Earlier, she told Bengali news channel Star Ananda, “I have become a victim of politics. I have not committed any offence. So, why am I not being allowed to return?”

“I was asked to go to Rajasthan but why I was asked to go and by whom, let us not speak about this,” she said.

Referring to violence in Kolkata on November 21 demanding revocation of her visa, she said there is a freedom of expression here. Why do I to face an ordeal only because of protest by a handful of people?”

Asked why she had left without informing her admirers, Taslima said “I had to leave in a hurry. Those who lit the fire have not read my books. They are speaking without knowing. They may have been instigated,” she said. — PTI

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Jethmalani seeks security cover for Taslima
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 26
Calling exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen’s recent treatment who is being made to run for her life as shameful and disgraceful, eminent jurist Ram Jethmalani today demanded that she be given complete security and right to live in India.

Referring to her plight in the Rajya Sabha, the nominated member said the cases of both Nasreen and noted painter M.F. Hussain should be dealt with by the same yardstick.

There should be no double standards, he said, adding it was a disgrace to the judiciary and the system of governance that Hussain was forced to live in exile in Dubai while Nasreen is running for her life here.

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‘I did not leave Kolkata on my own’

Kolkata, November 26
Taslima Nasreen said she had not decided on her own to leave Kolkata but chose to remain silent about her controversial departure. "Why should I take a decision on my own? It did come to my mind that someone would come and kill me. Many like my writings, many others don't," she told a news channel.

She was asked whether she felt insecure after large-scale violence following protests by a minority outfit demanding cancellation of her visa rocked large parts of Central Kolkata on November 21 and took the decision on her own to leave the city. — PTI

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Taslima missing Kolkata

Kolkata/New Delhi, November 25
Taslima Nasreen tonight said she missed the love and affection of the people of Kolkata and longed to return ‘home’ as she waited for a nod from the West Bengal government.

Facing an uncertain future, Taslima was secluded in the Rajasthan house in Delhi under a tight security cover for the third straight day today after she was hounded out of Kolkata on Thursday and hurriedly shifted from Jaipur to the Capital the next day.

“I am a Bengali and Bengal is my home and I feel at home in Kolkata, I know I am loved by the people there,” Taslima said in New Delhi. — PTI

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Prakash to quit JD(S)

Hubli, November 26
Senior JD(S) leader in Karnataka M.P Prakash today announced that he had decided to quit the party and launched a blistering attack on party chief H.D Deve Gowda and his son, former Chief Minister H.D Kumaraswamy.

Accusing Gowda and Kumaraswamy of reducing JD(S) to a party of “father and sons”, he said “I will not be in a party where there is no internal democracy and freedom of expression. So I have decided to say goodbye to the JD(S).” He said a meeting of like-minded JD(S) leaders and MLAs would be held in Bangalore on November 28 to chalk out future course of action even as the threat of being expelled from the party loomed large.

The former state home minister, who represents the dominant Lingayat community, said at a press conference that a convention of his supporters would be held either here or at Davanagere by last week of December. Prakash had already declared that he would boycott the November 29 meeting called by Gowda in Bangalore.

Prakash, who earned Gowda’s wrath for his efforts to install a government with Congress support, flayed the “repeated change in stand by Gowda and his sons,” which, he said, has “irked” partymen.

Even now there was a possibility of forming a government in the state, he said.

This is the first time Prakash has attacked Gowda and Kumaraswamy after they toppled the seven-day-old BJP government headed by B.S Yeddyurappa who also hails from the Lingayat community. — PTI

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Pending Cases
CJI trains guns on Centre, state govts
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, November 26
Chief Justice of India K.G Balakrishnan today sought to shift the blame for piling up of a huge burden of pending cases with the courts to the central and state governments for not providing the requisite infrastructure backup in terms of funds and increasing the number of judges.

The CJI also had a complaint against the media, social organisations and NGOs, who create a hype on pending cases by putting the blame entirely on the judiciary without taking into consideration the fact that executive’s “step-motherly” treatment to it was the biggest contributory factor in the delay.

He was speaking on the occasion of the annual Law Day function, which was also attended by law minister H.R Bhardwaj, who is entrusted with the responsibility of looking after the problems of judiciary.

Justice Balakrishnan, in his hard hitting speech, pointed out that the country of over a billion people had only 14,000 judges in lower courts to deal with their cases, which, by all standards, is an abysmal judge and population ratio in any country.

He said the appointment of judges in lower courts was entirely in the hands of the state government and despite this, they were not providing any additional funds to upgrade the courts and increase the number of judges.

He reminded that the entire burden of 2.5 crore pendency with lower judiciary could just not be passed on to the courts without the government taking any steps to improve the infrastructure, which was in a pathetic condition in many states.

According to him, the neglect of judiciary in terms of allocation of funds, reflected from the tenth five year plan allocation which was a meagre 0.78 per cent, a “pittance” for the courts.

He reminded that in the All-India Judges Association case, directions were issued at least five times to the government to increase the number of courts and judges, but no steps had been taken so far.

The law minister was taken aback by the strongest ever indictment of the government for ignoring the judiciary in terms of allocation of funds and remained silent on the issue.

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Parliament nod to Central rule in Karnataka

New Delhi, November 26
Both the Houses of Parliament today approved a Presidential proclamation bringing Karnataka under President’s rule and keeping the 224-member state assembly under suspended animation to pave the way for the dissolution of the House to hold fresh elections.

The resolution moved by Home Minister Shivraj Patil in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha provides for not just to bring the southern state under President’s Rule but also to dissolve the assembly and announce dates for fresh elections. Both Houses approved the resolution through voice vote after detailed discussions.

In the Lok Sabha, Patil dwelt at length on the circumstances that led to the imposition of President’s rule in the state after it was kept under suspended animation while he made a brief statement seeking the resolution to be passed.

The Rajya Sabha passed the resolution without much difficulty with all the political parties agreeing that President’s rule followed by an election would be the best option.

The BJP-JD(S) coalition which had staked claim to form a government was unable to prove its majority in the 224-member House. No other party or a group was in a position to form the government.

The President then issued a proclamation on November 20 under Article 356 (1) of the Constitution. — UNI

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AP minister in soup over advice on family planning
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, November 26
Andhra Pradesh Labour Minister G.Vinod finds himself in a soup over his controversial advice to tribals not to undergo family planning operation and instead "multiply" their population.

The minister's unusual prescription came during his visit to the tribal-dominated Adilabad district which is in the grip of a viral fever leading to the death of several children in the recent past.

Since the population among some of the tribes was on the decline, they should desist from sterilization surgery so that they can have more children and arrest the trend, he said.

"In the olden days, people used to opt for big families to tackle high mortality among children," Vinod argued.

The minister's remarks, made at a press conference in Utnoor town yesterday in the presence of the state Medical and Health Minister S Chandrasekhar, created a flutter in political circles.

"They (tribals) should rethink about family planning particularly in view of the death of large number of children due to viral fever," Vinod, a Dalit leader from neighbouring Karimnagar district, said. Vinod, son of veteran Congress leader G Venkataswamy, said he was in support of population growth of tribals and steps should be taken to make it happen.

"Otherwise, some of the primitive tribes may even disappear," he said.

With his statement setting off ripples in political circles, the minister called a press conference here today in a bid to control the damage. However, he said he still stood by his viewpoint that tribal population should be encouraged to grow.

"I was misunderstood by the media when I said this. As far as sterilization operations are concerned, it is a personal matter and governments cannot enforce it," he said.

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Mukherjee to be Indian envoy to UK
Tribune New Service

New Delhi, November 26
The selection of Kamlesh Sharma as Commonwealth secretary-general is going to trigger off a chain of top-level diplomatic appointments. Shiv Shankar Mukherjee, currently Indian ambassador in Nepal, is likely to replace Sharma as Indian high commissioner in UK.

Sheel Kant Sharma, presently Indian permanent representative in International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, is tipped to take over as secretary-general of the eight-nation SAARC which has a Secretariat in Kathmandu. He will be the first Indian to hold this office.

Saurabh Kumar, currently Indian ambassador in Ireland, will replace Sheel Kant Sharma in Vienna and a formal announcement of Kumar’s name will be announced soon.

Rakesh Sood, currently Indian ambassador in Afghanistan, is set to replace Mukherjee in Kathmandu. Jayant Prasad, presently India’s permanent representative in Geneva, is likely to replace Sood in Kabul, while Hamid Ali Rao, currently a joint secretary (disarmament) in the headquarters here, may well replace Prasad in Geneva.

The ministry of external affairs will officially announce all these appointments in due course.

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600 return home from refugee camp in Nandigram

Nandigram, November 26
Around 600 people, who had stayed back in refugee camps for fear of reprisals by CPM after its recapture of Nandigram, today returned home following assurances of security.

“Around 600 people, housed in the camp at Brajalal Tiwary School, returned to their homes,” East Midnapore District Magistrate Anup Agarwal told PTI after a meeting at which the district administration, the police, the CRPF and representatives of the Bhumi Ucched Pratirod Committee backed by the Trinamool Congress were present.

Agarwal said the people returned to their homes at Gokulnagar, Adhikaripara, Jambari, Brindabanchak, Ranichak and Keshabpur in Nandigram block one and Satengabari, Kiakhali and Kamalpur in block two.

There are only 32 people now left in the camp and they have agreed to return tomorrow, he said.

Meanwhile, CRPF Assistant Commandant B.C. Roy said intensified area domination was being undertaken by increasing patrol and route marches in areas where evicted people had returned home.

Earlier, poeple in the camp had expressed the fear that they would face reprisals from CPM cadres if they returned to their villages and also complained of discrimination in getting compensation. — PTI

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Rights panels to visit Nandigram
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 26
Amnesty International India and Human Rights Watch, both human rights organisations, are sending a team to Nandigram on Wednesday.

The team, comprising Justice S.N. Bhargava, Vrinda Grover, Meenakshi Ganguly and Mukul Sharma, will meet victims as well as government authorities.

It will inquire into the events leading to the violence. The team will also assess the social and economic impact of the violence and violations of national and international human rights standards and UN conventions to which India is a party.

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IAF to get Rs 80 cr for exercises with US
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 26
United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) coalition partners, the Left parties will have more on their hands to heckle the Congress-led government as an “in principle” clearance has been given for a grant of Rs 80 crore to the Indian Air Force (IAF) for its participation in the in the prestigious Red Flag war games conducted by the US Air Force (USAF).

Speaking on condition of anonymity, an IAF officer confirmed that an “in principle” clearance had been received by the Air Headquarters for the grant of Rs 80 crore or almost $ 20 million.

He, however, added that the money was still to be received by the IAF and that the sanction was received some days ago.

This will come as a major relief to the IAF, which has been very keen in participating in these exercises, as it would greatly help in further improving the skills of the Indian fighter pilots. The money, however, had been a problem as the US had been demanding it by way of logistics support for India’s participation in the drill.

The “in principle” clearance of the money is also being seen as the final go-ahead from the government for the IAF’s participation in the exercises. It also reflects a shift in the thinking of India’s defence planners, who are increasingly looking at procedures adopted by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in reworking their training procedures.

This, incidentally, also shows that the government has decided to overlook the objections of the Left parties on the issue. And it does not come as a surprise specially after getting conditional approval from the Left parties to talks that began last week with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on a safeguards agreement. Following the talks India can approach the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for a waiver to enable resumption of nuclear commerce with India after a decades-long hiatus caused by the Pokharan tests of 1975.

The IAF, on its part has already done considerable homework on the assets it will field during the exercises. There is a possibility that the IAF may field up to six IAF Sukhoi Su-30MKI frontline combat jets in the exercise, supported by a few Il-78 midair refuelling tankers and Il-76 heavy-lift transport aircraft.

Red Flag, an advanced aerial combat training exercise has been hosted at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and the Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, since 1975.

It is meant to train pilots from the US, NATO and other allied countries for real combat situations. This includes the use of “enemy” hardware and live ammunition for bombing exercises.

The 414th Combat Training Squadron of the US Air Force 57th Wing conducts the exercises in four-to-six cycles a year. Each cycle runs for six weeks.

According to the IAF officials there is noting unusual about the US demanding a payment from India for the IAF’s participation in the exercises. Officials point out that seeking payment was normal as even the US pays us for participating in the (naval) Malabar war games, which were last conducted in September and over which the Left parties had again raised objections with the reports of a nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz participating in it.

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Pachauri gives preview of outlook for Bali, meets Manmohan
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 26
Ahead of largest convention on climate change at Bali in December, IPCC chairman R.K. Pachauri today said there was an unprecedented awareness among the public and leaders worldwide on realities related to climate change.

With lens focused on country’s delegations and their postures, Pachauri said the UNFCCC CoP-13 was likely to come up with a conducive agreement among participating countries on the roadmap ahead for climate change mitigation.

Pachauri, giving media persons a preview of key findings of the IPCC’s latest synthesis report and outlook for Bali, said there was a wide variety of policies and instruments available to governments to create incentives for mitigation action.

The time for doubt had passed, Pachauri said, adding that the IPCC had unequivocally affirmed the warming of our climate system and linked it directly to human activity.

The bigger the power, the better they can come in front, he said, hinting at a bigger participation from countries like the US, Australia and France. “All countries of the world need to realise that we are in it together and then get into equity and ethics issues,” he added.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bali would be held between December 3 and 14. The conference brings together representatives of over 180 countries together with observers from intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations and the media.

The two-week period includes sessions of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the UNFCCC, its subsidiary bodies and meeting of the parties of the Kyoto Protocol.

Pachauri also made a presentation of key findings of the IPCC’s Synthesis Report before the Prime Minister and updated him about the forthcoming Bali event in the evening. India, he said, should be well prepared for post-Bali implications. The Indian government has to show its commitment and adopt proper action and stance after declaration is set, he added.

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Melting glaciers, a cause for concern: Pachauri

Ahmedabad, November 26
Rapid melting of Himalayan glaciers has major implications for water supply in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) Rajendra Kumar Pachauri today said.

He said the melting of glaciers, because of global warming, has left the scientific community worried.

“The glaciers in the Himalays are melting at a very rapid rate which has major implications for water supply in the northen part of the (Indian) subcontinent,” Pachauri said at the 4th International conference on environment education.

“Because most of our rivers originate in those glaciers, there is a strong likelihood of a reduction in water supply,” he remarked.

“This has also led to sea-level rise. In the 20th century, it rose by 17 cm and would be between 18 to 59 cm in the 21st century. That is a significant increase,” the Nobel laureate said.

“This incidentally does not take into account the possibility of the collapse of Greenland and the Antarctica ice-sheet,” he said.

“Now, if that were to happen, we will get sea-level rise to several meters and affect the geographical features of the earth,” he said.

“The world has to step in because the problem has been caused by a group of countries that have cumulatively added to the concentration of greenhouse gases,” he said. “Large impacts can be expected due to past emissions,” Pachauri added.

According to him, earth’s temperature could rise by 1.8 degree to four degree Celsius in the coming years. “We clearly have a serious problem on our hand,” he said.

“Therefore, it is absolutely essential that not only we adapt to climate change, but take vigorous steps in reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases,” he added.

Pauchari also said changes in lifestyle and behaviour are also needed to be checked to arrest carbon emissions.

“We cannot continue on a path which is totally oblivious to the impacts and footprints of our actions on Earth’s ecosystem,” he mentioned. — PTI

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Transport not fundamental right, says SC
Rejects TN student’s plea for relief due to bandh

Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, November 26
The Supreme Court today dismissed a petition by a school student from Tamil Nadu for Rs 1 lakh compensation for not being able to make it to the examination hall on the day the ruling DMK-sponsored bandh on the Ram Sethu issue had paralysed the state, saying availing state transport facility is not a “fundamental right”.

A Bench of Chief Justice K.G.Balakrishnan and Justices R.V.Raveendran and J.M.Panchal told the counsel student Krishna Kumar that the petition was filed by him under Article 32, which deals with public interest matters, but under the Article, only issues relating to fundamental rights’ violations could be entertained.

“Article 32 is enforce only in fundamental rights. Providing transport is not a fundamental right,” the court said.

As Kumar’s counsel N.Rajaraman tried to point out that it was a bandh supported by ruling party DMK, which virtually meant a “state-sponsored” strike and it had “curtailed the right of free movement” of his client.

Rajaraman said the student had to travel 20 km on foot to reach the examination hall at Coimbatore on October 1, the day of the bandh, which even was banned by the apex court, and his client was entitled to be compensated by the state government for this reason.

But the court was not agreeable to his plea and rejected it after a brief hearing.

Notice to Tarun Tejpal

The Supreme Court today issued a notice to Tehelka.com editor Tarun J Tejpal on a petition filed by Samata Party leader Jaya Jaitley.

Counsel for the petitioner told a bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices R V Raveendran and J M Panchal that the Delhi High Court committed a mistake by dismissing the petition seeking directions to the trial court to prosecute Tarun Tejpal for writing defamatory articles against Jaitley. — UNI

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Approach apex court, HC tells Manu

New Delhi, November 26
The Delhi High Court today asked Manu Sharma, sentenced to life imprisonment in the Jessica Lall murder case, to approach the Supreme Court for seeking a copy of a notice issued by this court to one of his co-convict last November.

The notice, whose copy Manu is seeking, was issued to Vikas Yadav by the high court during the hearing on an appeal in the murder case. Through the notice, Yadav was told to explain why a case of common intention behind the murder could not be made out against him.

A Division Bench of Justice B.N. Chaturvedi and Justice G.S. Sistani, while disposing of Manu’s application, filed through his father and former Haryana Minister Venod Sharma, asked him to make a submission before the Supreme Court which is already seized of the matter.

“Since the original file is already in the Supreme Court, the applicant is directed to point out (the matter) referring to the original record, if the order is there or not....” the Bench said.

The Bench, however, made it clear that it was an oral order. “No such order (notice) was passed,” it said. — PTI

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Translation of Argentinian court order on Q
CBI seeks more time from SC
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, November 26
The CBI today sought further time of four weeks from the Supreme Court to place before it the translated record of entire extradition proceedings against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattarochhi, the key accused in the two-decade-old Bofors payoff case.

The CBI is facing accusation of “deliberately” letting him off the hook on several occasions due to political pressure because of his “close links” with Congress president Sonia Gandhi in a PIL.

The PIL also had raised the issue of the CBI agreeing to lift a London court’s freeze on two bank accounts of Quattarochhi in January 2006 enabling him to withdraw nearly Rs 20 crore from them within a few days of the agency’s permission.

The freeze was imposed on the “letters rogatory” of a Delhi court, before which a case against him relating to Rs 64-crore Bofors payoff case FIR is pending.

The SC had directed the CBI to place on record the entire material on extradition proceedings before different courts in Argentina earlier on August 20 after Quattarochhi was arrested on agency’s “red corner” alert.

Advocate Ajay Agrawal, who had filed the PIL, reminded a Bench, headed by Chief Justice K.G.Balakrishnan today that earlier only four-week time was given to the agency, but today they are coming up again with a plea for extension.

Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam said the documents were voluminous and though the translation had been done, the CBI wanted to be doubly sure that there was no mistake in it.

Eventually, the court listed further hearing in the case on January 14 after the winter vacation of two weeks, which starts on December 14.

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Offering bribe is more serious offence than taking it: Court

New Delhi, November 26
Nothing that “offering bribe is a more serious offence than taking it,” a court here today sentenced a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) employee to two years’ rigorous imprisonment (RI) for an attempt to bribe an SPG officer posted at the Central Secretariat.

Special Judge Attar Singh Yadav, held Rama Kant Sharma (56), quilty of offering the bribe to R.C. Saxena, and slapped a fine of Rs 20,000, on him apart from the RI.

“The culpability of offering bribe is more serious offence than taking it. If everybody decides not to give the bribe there cannot be any bribe taker,” the Judge said in his order.

According to the prosecution, after serving in the Border Security Force (BSF) as a DSP till 1999, accused, Sharma, took voluntary retirement from it and had joined NHRC, a government body to protect the human rights, in 2001.

While on the rolls of the NHRC, he was allegedly also working as an unpaid executive on part-time basis for M/S Reliance International, which supplied Door Frame Metal Detectors (DFMDs).

According to the prosecution, Sharma offered an illegal gratification of Rs 2,000 to Saxena, a security officer in the Special Protection Group in the Central Secretariat, for clearing the payment dues of the company he was associated with. Saxena turned down his offer and reported the matter to his senior officer, the prosecution further added. — PTI

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Fight For ‘Self-Respect’
Man takes postmaster to court

New Delhi, November 26
A 78-year-old man’s fight for self-respect has gained momentum with a court here ordering registration of a case against a postmaster, who allegedly humiliated him when he opted for closing his pension accounts.

After the police failed to help Tikam Singh, he approached the court which said prima facie a criminal case of insult was made out against the post master of Jagat Puri post office in north-east Delhi.

Metropolitan Magistrate Raj Kumar has now summoned the postmaster (not named in the complaint) in January next year to face prosecution in the case under Section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the IPC.

According to the complaint, Singh, a resident of Krishna Nagar here, had gone to the Jagat Puri post office on September 13 to get his pension accounts closed and withdraw the balance amount from them.

He contacted the post master, who took his pass books and asked him to fill up two forms of account closure.

According to Singh, when he requested the accused to show him his pass books to check his account numbers, the post master refused to do so.

He requested the post master to fill the form for him but the latter got annoyed and allegedly started abusing him and giving threats.

Feeling humiliated, Singh complained to the Krishna Nagar police the next day but no action was taken, which prompted him to approach the court. — PTI

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Bandh hits life in Jharkhand, 600 held

Ranchi, November 26
Normal life was affected and about 600 people were arrested today following incidents of violence and road blockades during the 12-hour Jharkhand bandh, called by several tribal outfits in protest against the death and injury of Adivasis in Assam on Saturday.

Bandh supporters threw burning tyres on roads to obstruct vehicular traffic and smashed wind screens of cars in Ranchi and Jamshedpur, the police said.

Ranchi deputy commissioner, Avinash Kumar said 500 bandh supporters were taken into custody for forcibly enforcing the bandh at different points in Ranchi. Other arrests were made from different areas of the state.

Long-distance buses and trucks kept off the road while the protesters put up road blockades on the Grand Trunk Road in Giridih, the police said.

Loading and unloading works were suspended in several mining areas of Hazariabg, Palamau, Gumla, east and west Singhbhum districts as trucks did not ply.

Bandh supporters were seen indulging in skirmishes at Jugsalai and Dhatkidih in Jamshedpur. They also blocked the rail track at Tatanagar railway station and disrupted rail services for several hours. — PTI

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Pak movie against fundamentalism “paved way for meaningful cinema”
Shashwat Gupta Ray

Panaji, November 26
Breaking from the mould of typical potboiler movies, the overwhelming success of controversial Pakistani film “Khuda Ke Liye” has not only been a refreshing change for the audience and filmmakers in that country but also paved the way for making more meaningful commercial cinema, the film’s director Shoaib Mansoor said today.

“This movie has created an unbelievable change for audience and filmmakers who have been fed on typical potboiler movies filled with unnecessary song and dance sequences. We had a story which dealt with the lives of all of us and depicted the harsh realities,” Mansoor told PTI from Karachi over phone.

“Khuda Ke Liye” is competing with films from Asia, Africa and Latin American countries at the 38th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa 2007 and is running to packed houses.

It is also Pakistan's first ever entry into the IFFI, one of the oldest film festivals in asia.

“I hate dances and songs in a film which don’t add any meaning in the film. In this movie, we had song sequences to establish that the main characters were singers. According to me, a film's story along with its narrative and screenplay are very important. Other ingredients can wait,” Mansoor said. — PTI

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TN police to book students using mobile at schools
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Chennai, November 26
Schoolchildren in Tamil Nadu will be booked by the police if they are caught using mobile telephones within school premises violating the state government’s ban.

Twelve special police teams have been set up in Chennai to keep a watch on students who use mobile phones in schools despite the government’s ban.

The police has also warned that it would arrest those students who were found using camera mobiles on the school premises.

Tamil Nadu IG, CB-CID, Karan Sinha said here today that despite the ban many students were found “misusing technology and were found sending obscene films after downloading them from computers”.

“In order to keep a strict vigil on this we have set up special parties and those found misusing the mobiles will be arrested under the Copyright Act,” he said.

He said that the state government had announced a ban on mobile phones in schools that come under its purview, irrespective of the age of the students.

The Director of School Education had also advised the students and parents as the government felt that if students carried mobile phones to schools their attention would be distracted from studies.

It was also noticed that the number of students sending SMS when classes were being held was on the rise and it was on this backdrop the decision to ban mobile phones was taken, Sinha said.

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Fire in train

Allahabad, November 26
A fire broke out in a compartment of the stationary Nauchandi Express train here this afternoon but there was no casualty, railway officials said.

The incident took place around 12.30 p.m., shortly after the train coming from Saharanpur terminated at platform 8, North Central Railways spokesman Amit Malviya said.

“All the passengers had alighted from the train before a sleeper coach caught fire. Fire brigade personnel were pressed into service and the blaze was extinguished within half an hour,” he said.

There have been no injuries to any of the passengers on the platform or to the personnel involved in firefighting. The bogey has been partially damaged in the fire, the cause of which is yet to be ascertained, Malviya said. — PTI

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Jobless NTT teachers begin fast
Raju William
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, November 26
Fed up with the hollow promises of employment by the successive state governments, unemployed NTT teachers today launched fast unto death in front of the Vidhan Sabha building here in support of their demand.

The step followed lack of government response to their long-standing demand of providing employment to around 500 NTT teachers who have passed out from the four institutions in the state recognised by the state government as well as the NCTE since 2004.

Under the banner of the Unemployed NTT Teachers Association, Uttarakhand, these teachers got a raw deal when they withdrew their three-month-long dharna in front of the Vidhan Sabha after official assurance to look into their demand during the Congress regime in 2006. The government had allowed NTT training in the state in 2004.

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Stranded Indian flight takes off

Jaipur, November 26
The Ahmedabad-Kolkata ‘Indian’ flight, which was stranded in the city after the pilot refused to fly the aircraft, took off this morning with 131 passengers on board.

The flight, IC 261, had arrived here at 8.35 pm last night, nearly an hour behind the schedule. However, it did not take off for its destination after the pilot refused to fly it, claiming his duty hours were over.

Till 11.30 pm yesterday, the passengers were confused and anxious about the status of their further journey. — PTI

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Manipur Dy Speaker escapes bid on life

Imphal, November 26
Manipur Deputy Speaker M Shyam Kumar escaped unhurt when militants exploded a powerful bomb in interior Imphal East district today.

However, two security personnel belonging to India Reserve Battalion and Kumar’s driver were injured by splinters, official sources said. The injured were rushed to the J N Hospital in Imphal East, the police added.

The bomb, planted at a roadside, exploded when Kumar was passing through Okshu area, about 25 km from here. Kumar was returning to Imphal after visiting some places in his Assembly constituency in Imphal East district. Heavy police reinforcements have been rushed to the area.

A massive combing operation was launched in the area. However, no one had been arrested so far, the police added. — Agencies

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EU ‘watching’ IAEA talks
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 26
The 27-nation European Union is keeping a close watch on India’s ongoing negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

EU’s envoy to India Daneille Smadja said the EU understood India’s interest in civilian nuclear energy cooperation and its growing energy needs. She said the EU was following the India-IAEA talks with great interest.

Portuguese ambassador to India Luis Felipe Castro Mendes said his country, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, was also waiting for India-IAEA negotiations to conclude and then only a common position could be taken at the EU on the subject. The two diplomats made these averments at a news conference ahead of the eighth India-EU Summit being held here on November 30.

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Rs 12 cr ITTO aid for Jhumias

Agartala, November 26
In a bid to ensure viable economy for tribal Jhumias (shifting cultivators), China-based International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) has given a green signal to financial support for Tripura.

The state forest minister Jitendra Choudhury said in consultation with stake holders and beneficiaries, the government had laid down a eco-sustainable roadmap for integrated development of the crucial sector as the choice of the end users and ITTO had agreed to grant Rs 12 Crore for Jhumia settlement.

Referring to the public meet on the proposed project held last week, Choudhury pointed out that it had aimed to ensure a feasible settlement through multi-purpose forestry and rubber-based project along with Gandaki, a medicinal tuber crop. — UNI

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Arunachal seeks 3 trade points with China

Guwahati, November 26
In a proposal to the Union Government, Arunachal Pradesh has sought three border-trade points on the Chinese frontier.

“Arunachal Pradesh wants three trade points at Bumla near Tawang, Mechuka in west Siang and Takshing in upper Subansiri,” said union minister of state for commerce Jairam Ramesh, while interacting with media yesterday.

Ramesh was visiting Arunachal Pradesh and exploring the possibility of expanding the border trade with China, Myanmar and Bhutan. — UNI

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Copter deal could be scrapped

New Delhi, November 26
The UPA government’s second biggest armament deal to purchase 197 light helicopters for the Army at a whopping $600 million has run into rough weather and may be scrapped.

The deal with European consortium Eurocopter is stuck at the final negotiation stage with some irregularities coming to light, defence sources said today. — PTI

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