L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Conspirator back in police net
Wife tells on him
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
Harminder Singh, who escaped from police custody by hoodwinking a senior police official three years ago following the Shingar Cinema bomb blast, was nabbed on Thursday night. The terrorist’s wife allegedly informed the police about the presence of Harminder in the house.

Police sources had the police had to face a lot of criticism for “letting off” the key conspirator in the case. It is reported that a senior police officer had allowed him to let go after asking him to swear on God that he was not a conspirator.

The militant is learnt to have sworn readily that he was not involved in the case. He was nabbed by the police from Ludhiana a year ago, but was later let off. This had made the police a laughing stock.

Highly placed sources said the SHO of Samrala had been monitoring the house of the terrorist in Janta Nagar ever since he fled from custody.

It is learnt that Harminder’s wife was against terrorist activities and had told him to shun the world of crime. A relative of a senior police official also played a vital role in informing the police about the presence of Harminder in the Janta Nagar area.


Monsoon Woes
Factories, houses inundated
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
As many as 10-15 owners of various units were not able to open their factories today, thanks to poor drainage, sewerage and damaged roads that were inundated with rainwater.

The premises of several units at Durgesh Nagar were flooded with rainwater. Left with no option, the unit owners had to wait for the water to recede.

This has been happening during every monsoon for the past four-five years. The problem is not specific to Durgesh Nagar as all low-lying areas in the Industrial Area, Transport Nagar and Sunder Nagar get waterlogged.

Neelam Kanish, owner of a textile unit at Jhandewali Gali, said he was not able to open the unit due to waterlogging. “The rains make it very difficult for us. There is about 2-ft water on the premises and I have been waiting for hours to open the unit. Several others are facing the same problem. Despite repeated complaints, nothing has been done so far,” Kanish stated.

Another complainant Rajesh Malik said the claims of the civic body regarding the cleaning of drainage prior to the rains were false. “These areas need a lot of cleaning, but not once has any worker come to clean the drainage or sewers, which are choked. Mild rain for two hours causes waterlogging. We are paying taxes, but we are not getting the basic facilities. We also suffer huge losses due to non-production,” he said.

Also, the dyeing units discharge dirty water on roads, which gets mixed with rainwater and makes it worse. Sewage overflows due to discharge by dyeing units. And then huge potholes aggravate the problem. 



Army Recruitment
Director says no to bribe, threatened
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
An unknown caller threatened the Director, Army Recruitment, Ludhiana, to accept bribe for recruitment that is under way or face dire consequences.

The Director, Col Sharad Dhindaw, received the call last night and the caller (speaking in chaste Punjabi) asked him to spell out the money he wanted for recruiting a youth.

When Col Dhindaw refused to accept anything, the caller started threatening him. “I disconnected the phone. Within a few minutes, I got another call from the same person, but I did not respond. After receiving several calls from four different numbers within a few minutes, I switched off my phone,” he said in a complaint to the police here today.

Col Dhindaw said the caller even mentioned his hometown, school and other facts related to his life. “I do not know from where he got these details about me. I was shocked,” he said.

The Commissioner of Police has marked the case to the ACP, Raj Kumar. He said the caller would be identified soon as they were getting details from the telecom company. The police had traced the call details of the caller, who was said to be from Ropar.

The recruitment rally is under way at Guru Nanak Stadium and would continue till July 25.



Youth hacked to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
Panic spread after the body of a youth, who was reportedly hacked, was spotted near Bharat Nagar Chowk here today.The victim has been identified as Shamsher (27) of Railway Colony No 5.

Some college students and commuters spotted the body in the morning and raised the alarm. The police reached the spot and began investigation.

The hands and legs of the victim had been tied. Police sources said Shamsher had been killed with a sharp-edged weapon. “His throat bears injury marks. It seems that the victim was first tied and then killed,” the investigating officer stated.

The ACP said they were probing the case and the accused would be nabbed soon.



Roaches in food aboard Shatabdi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
Passengers on the Amritsar-bound Swaran Shatabdi were shocked to find a cockroach in dal on July 15. Bhagat Singh, a passenger, who boarded the train from Delhi to Jalandhar, spat out a cockroach while eating dal and found another one in the same dish.

He threw up and his wife informed the other co-passengers, who left their food. The coach staff was informed and a complaint was lodged.

Agitated passengers pointed towards the negligence of the railways, stating that people travelling by Shatabdi were not being served hygienic food. Several items like samosa and sweets were not relished by people as these were high in calories.

Dr Sandeep K Jain, who was also travelling on the same train, said the railways should stop providing food to passengers and should instead reduce the fare, as had been done by the airlines. The IRCTC or the railways should sell quality food in trains, he added.



Six-laning of NH 1
NHAI throws safety norms to winds
Lovleen Bains 

Doraha, July 17
A private company to which the job of completing the six laning on the National Highway No.1 has been entrusted by the National Highway Authority of India, it seems, is testing the “alertness” of those driving on the Grand Trunk road.

At Macdonalds near Doraha, Sahnewal, villages like Jugiana, Dhadhari and at numerous other places, huge uncovered pits and the affixed iron rods have made the plying of vehicles a risky affair. 

A private company to which the job of completing the six laning on the National Highway No.1 has been entrusted by the National Highway Authority of India, it seems, is testing the “alertness” of those driving on the Grand Trunk road.

At Macdonalds near Doraha, Sahnewal, villages like Jugiana, Dhadhari and at numerous other places, huge uncovered pits and the affixed iron rods have made the plying of vehicles a risky affair. The situation aggravates when the rainwater levels the high and low grounds thereby making it difficult for commuters to judge. Recently, two children of Kanganwal village accidentally died after falling into the rainwater-filled pit dug up for the drainage purpose by the private company at Dhadhari Kalan.

“Despite several deaths during the process of six laning, the company, it seems, is hardly bothered about those commuting on this stretch. God knows how many more lives are to be sacrificed in the name of road extension. Moreover, the pointed edges of the iron rods affixed along side, can also prove fatal for those who unknowingly come closer to it. Unauthorised diversions have even made the life of commuters a hell. At the Malhipur, Barmalipur and Kaddon chowks or for that matter at numerous villages and towns such diversions are proving fatal. To make the matter worse, even at the bus stops of various towns and villages, the roads have been shortened for the purpose of six laning, thus making the commuters to pass through a horrific situation,” lamented a commuter.

“This serious lapse on the part of the contractors could put number of vehicles in trouble and at the same time jeopardize the commuters life. Even the slightest slip on the part of the commuters, can permanently disable them. Unless the drivers act smart on that particular stretch, there is a possibility of they falling into the trap,” road users apprehended.

“No signs or reflectors, to pre-warn about the danger lying ahead, have been erected and more so such fatal spots have been left uncovered, unattended and unmanned. The breakneck speed of vehicles, coupled with blinding lights, is enough to make commuters to misjudging something. The road should not have been thrown open to the commuters in any case unless the older one is raised to that level and gaps adequately filled in,” expressed another.



Broken dividers a threat
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
A large number of accidents could be avoided if broken and damaged dividers and barriers on major city roads are either repaired or replaced.

Traffic violations due to broken dividers is a common sight in several areas
Traffic violations due to broken dividers is a common sight in several areas:Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Broken dividers on the Ferozpur road, Pakhowal road and GT Road pose a threat to lives. It makes it convenient to pass through these “alternative” routes, but is a threat to vehicular traffic.

Surinder Singh (name changed), a traffic cop, said youngsters were the main traffic violators who took shorter routes. “Without giving it a thought that this could be dangerous, they pass through these broken barriers. Recently, a two-wheeler rammed into a rickshaw and a woman received injuries as she fell down,” he said.

The barriers get damaged during a squall or an accident and the debris is a nuisance to the public. Bhupesh Kumar, a commuter, said a barrier near Bhai Bala Chowk was broken for long, but the authorities had not cleared the debris. “Iron rods and bricks are lying scattered and nothing has been done,” he said.

The municipal corporation Commissioner, AK Sinha, admitted that the barriers on the Ferozpur road needed to be replaced immediately. “Metalled or steel barriers are required, but these are too expensive. We will think of a solution soon,” he stated.



Dhaba, brick-kiln owners to file returns 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
After the new amendment made by the se and Taxation Department dhaba and brick kiln owners will be required to fill their quarterly VAT returns from now onwards. Earlier they and the commission agents use to pay the lump sum tax. While amendments have been made in the rules related to dhaba and brick kilns owners the department is silent over the status of the commission agents.

As mentioned in the notification “A brick kiln owner opting to pay lump tax shall file quarterly return in form VAT 16-A within 30 days from the date of expiry of each quarter along with the proof of the payment made into the appropriate government treasury”. It further mentioned that the dhaba owners would fill their quarterly return in the VAT 16-B form.

A department official said earlier these two categories used to pay lump sum amount but now they would be giving their quarterly returns by submitting the forms. It would help in simplifying the system, he said. All those who have got registration numbers from the department will now pay the quarterly returns.

Tax professional, Jatinder Khurana, said the form No. 16 required to be filled by these two categories were very simple and they could get it filled through a tax professional.

While a dhaba owner at Feroze Gandhi market said paying lump sum amount was an easy task for them. “Now we will have to engage a tax professional for filling the forms pay them fees as well,” he added.

However, brick kiln owner, Tanveer Singh, added that earlier three categories namely dhaba and brick kiln owners and commission agents used to pay lump sum tax. While two categories had been asked to file the quarterly return, commission agents had been exempted. They should also have been included under the amendment, he said.



New localities, a haven for criminals
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 17
New localities on the outskirt of the town are proving to be haven for most-wanted criminals in the state. Most of them are drug peddlers, cheaters and proclaimed offenders.

While small fish live in disguise by hiring houses in these colonies, more thriving gangsters have constructed their own houses.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that notorious criminals like drug peddlers; swindlers and proclaimed offenders booked under various sections of the law at different police stations in Punjab and neighboring states had taken refuge in these localities.

Paramjit Singh Pamma of Dolewal village, who had been booked at least in 14 cases in Ludhiana (Rural), Moga, Kapurthala, Jalandhar and Ferozepur, had been staying in a house situated in street No. 6 of Dasmesh Nagar on the Dhulkot road for the past six months. A kingpin of notorious gang of drug peddlers Pamma had also attacked police parties on several occasions.

Though he had been living at his present address nobody suspected his activities until Thursday when a police team raided his house. Though the raid turned to be abortive, the CIA wing of the Jagraon police nabbed him yesterday. Cops nabbed from Dhapaie while he was trying to leave the area.

A renowned wrestler of international repute, Arjun Award winner and former police inspector, Rustam-e-Hind Jagdish Bholla, who had been booked under several cases, had also been staying at one of the houses of his relatives located in the Raikot Road.

Members of a gang booked by the Hoshiarpur police for printing fake currency at Kup long ago, used to stay in a house situated near Krishana Mandir.

Colonies situated on the Jagera road are known for giving shelter to notorious burglars and drug peddlers.

Raids by cops from all over Punjab and neighbouring states are common in these localities.



Power Cuts
Chamber seeks special taskforce

Ludhiana, July 17
Assurances given by the Chairman, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), that all sorts of power cuts relating to the industrial and domestic consumers will be done away with have fallen flat.

 Avtar Singh, general secretary, and Upkar Singh, joint secretary, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU), have urged the Power Corporation of Punjab to deploy a special task force with immediate effect for rectifying breakdowns at the war footing. — TNS



Commerce the hot favourite
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
When it comes to popularity, commerce has scored over other disciplines this year. The subject is not only the hot favourite among the city’s undergraduate students, but also among class XII and class X students. The reason is not very difficult to find.

While on the one hand, it helps children from business families prepare taking over their family enterprises in the future, on the other, it opens myriad options for students, ensuring good pay packages and a secure future.

After commerce, the other favourites among students are Bachelors in Business Administration (BBA) and Bachelors in Computer Applications (BCA).

Educationists say commerce has always been the favourite among students from business family

However, over the years, it has emerged to be quite popular among the student community at large, for the fact that it opens many doors at all levels.

“Commerce is the most sought after subject globally. It gives the students practical knowledge to fulfil the demands of the corporate sector. Moreover, as compared to other streams like science or arts, commerce opens better options for the students. One can start working right after completing his graduation, without really having to complete his masters first, which of course opens further doors,” remarked Jasbir K Makkar, principal of SCD Government College.

She added that this year, the huge rush of students for centralised admissions for commerce itself proved the popularity of the subject.

“We got thousands of applications for a few hundred seats across city colleges. So high is the demand that we have requested the university for permission to open another commerce unit on our campus,” Makkar revealed.

Add Dr Karamjit, coordinator of Panjab University’s centralised admission for commerce, “Commerce obviously is the choice of most students today, which is explained by the massive number of applications received by all colleges of the university. Filling up of a majority of seats right on Day One of counselling only confirms the fact.”

“Commerce is a practical choice for today’s students. The astronomical rise in its popularity is due to the availability of commerce-related add-on courses. Students can appear in many competitive examinations like CA, CS and CPT,” said Prof HS Gill, retired professor from an Amritsar college.

Students said good pay packages after postgraduation made commerce their preferred option. “With the competition and saturation in the job market, most prefer to study a course which will secure their future. Commerce is one area which is growing. It is a subject different from conventional science subjects,” said Palak, a BCom II student.

Another BCom student, Harsimrat, said, “It is the money that matters these days and commerce assures good pay packages even at the entry level. This is the reason why I opted for commerce.”

Not very surprisingly, commerce was popular among students at the school level, too. A survey conducted by Synetic Business School with an aim to ascertain the subject preference of students revealed that the commerce stream appealed to most students at the school level.

According to the survey, that covered 33 schools across Ludhiana and its periphery, and 496 students of class XII, 30 per cent of students opted for commerce after class X, while 26 per cent of them went in for science subjects. However, arts remained the least preferred subject, with only 11 per cent students opting for it.



Polio immunisation drive on July 25

Ludhiana, July 17
Taking cognisance of the alleged non-administration of polio drops to children in localities of the city, the Health and Family Welfare Department has ordered an additional SIA (special immunisation action) in the city and surrounding localities.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari will oversee the campaign, to be monitored by Civil Surgeon Dr Satwant Bhalla and designated office-bearers of the Rotary International and the World Health Organisation, major partners in the polio eradication programme.

The decision to administer polio drops to all children in and around Ludhiana on July 25 was taken at a joint meeting of senior functionaries of three partners, held in Chandigarh on Friday.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawala presided over the meeting, monitored by the Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Satish Chandra.

After being apprised by Shubh Karan Gupta, chairman of the Rotary Volunteers Task Force, of over 20 per cent of target children allegedly missing from the administration of polio drops during the recent special immunisation, the minister advised the Principal Secretary to organise additional immunisation on July 25 and direct the Deputy Commissioner to supervise it.

The Civil Surgeon was asked to ensure the involvement of maximum employees of the Health and Family Welfare Department and apply an award-and-punishment strategy for those deputed on special duty.

Rotary officials offered to provide motivational material for all and special appreciation certificates for those recommended by the health authorities.

Referring to findings of the National Polio Surveillance Project (India), representative Jenny Horton regretted that at least 13 localities of Ludhiana, inhabited by migrant labourers, were left untouched. — OC



Permanent mark on young minds his forte
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
Good stories for children do not preach, but educate for life, by exploring significant themes, feels Janmeja Singh Johl, a local story writer.Accredited with having penned some of the finest stories in Punjabi, he has compiled four children’s story books for government school students of Punjab.

The writer is also a critic, painter and photographer. During a tęte-ŕ-tęte with the Ludhiana Tribune, he shared some secrets about professional progression in writing.

“Story writing, for me, is conceptualising realistic moments in an innovative manner, that leaves a permanent impression on the minds of readers, especially children. Each story has been penned keeping in mind the contemporary approach of the new genre. I take pride in admitting that I was the first Internet user in Punjab in 1994, when it was accessed through ISD calls to the US,” he said.

“Recognition is something that I have never sought in my 32-year career as a writer. I have always considered myself a contributor to society. My stories ‘Kature Te Boot’ and ‘Kiku Te Niku’ had been adjudged best in on-the-spot story writing competitions. I did not forward my name for the awards as I felt it confined the thought process of a writer,” he stated.

“Opportunity becomes pleasurable when it is given and not grabbed. That is why I have involved my intellectual friends at Asia Vision Ludhiana, which will work in the direction of children’s books publication. The set of four books, ‘Nek Salah’, ‘Kiri Te Phul’, ‘Tie Wala Bandar’ and ‘Rangli Likhai’, which will be provided to schools for Rs 65. To facilitate the free availability of these books at government schools, our organisation is identifying philanthropic individuals in villages who are willing to buy and donate those to school libraries,” he elaborated.

“Future is the word that surfs me safely through even in rough waters and fortifies my ideas. Before I concluded compiling the children’s storybooks, I was already on the job of compiling my next work, interviews with eight noted Punjabi writers. Self-evaluation of writers in interviews is something that every Punjabi laureate will love to read about,” he explained.

“Individualism has always given me the strength to stand out, which was accepted and respected by my father. I pursued my engineering degree in electronics from the US and tried doing agricultural engineering at PAU, but followed my creativity in photography and writing,” he reminisced.



New college principal
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, July 17
Dr Assa Singh Ghuman joined as principal of Guru Tegh Bahadur National College here at Dakha today. He was accordeda warm welcome by the college management and staff.

He had taught English at Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Sultanpur Lodhi, for the last over 30 years. He held degrees of MA, MPhil, PGCIEFL and PhD.

He had penned several books, including ‘Lohri De Lok Geet’ which found mention in a column by Khushwant Singh.



Manch to stage street plays on social evils
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, July 17
About a dozen local youths have formed the Chetna Kala Manch to stage ‘nukkad nataks’ (street plays) on social evils. The group, directed by Satwinder Sonu and Manpreet Kaur, plans plays on social evils at schools, colleges and villages to create awareness among the general public.

Manpreet said their main emphasis would be on female foeticide, drug abuse, unemployment and dowry. After staging the first play at the grain market here, Satwinder said they did not care if they had only a small audience now.

He said if they could reform just one family, they would term their effort successful. He said they wanted to perform their duty towards society and were sure of success.

He added that they started their group with just four youths last week and now they had more than a dozen members. The gathering was low today, but every person who watched their play commended their effort. Some of them asked them if they need any help, to which they refused. They asked the persons who offered help, including in monetary terms, to sponsor their shows at villages, where women and children could see their plays.



Fashion exhibition from July 25
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
After success in the Capital, the Bride and Groom Exhibition now hits Ludhiana. High-heel stuff, resplendent ethnic wear, exotic location packages and eye-catching things will be available under one roof.

Fashion freaks are certainly going to go ballistic as the much-hyped exhibition gets under way. This is not only for the bride and groom, as the name suggests, but there is something for everyone.

This exhibition will see the best of trendsetters, from Anshu Modi, Ankur Sen and Katyana Sharma to Gehna and Parul Grover showcasing their collections and services.

The exhibition will be held at a local hotel from July 25 to 27.



73-year-old fit after surgery
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
It was a dream come true for Varinder Handa (73), a resident of Kitchlu Nagar. He had undergone beating heart surgery.

Dr Harinder Singh Bedi, head of cardio-vascular and thoracic surgery at the Christian Medical College and Hospital, said Handa had severe heart blockage and was in danger of a massive heart attack.

He was operated upon by a new technique and recovered well. He went on a vacation to Thailand with his family, where he took an adventure ride 200 feet in the air.

Dr Bedi said the patient was absolutely fit after beating heart surgery and could carry on all activities after a check-up and clearance from the doctor.



Dirt, filth near MGM School, LIC office 
Problems multiply during rains, say residents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
The life of hundreds of people residing near MGM School and the LIC office, Phase I, Dugri, has become miserable due to heaps of garbage scattered all around. The problems of residents have further multiplied during the rainy season. Besides mosquito threat, the foul smelling emitting from huge garbage dump forces residents to remain indoor.

The dump is near MGM School and the LIC main office. It is suffocating for the “tender minds” to study in such a dirty environment. Director of MGM School, Gajjan Singh, told The Tribune that schoolchildren were suffering the most. “We try and close the windows/doors to avoid mosquitoes and flies still they are all around. At times, we have to cover our faces to avoid foul smell, which is at peak during the rainy season,” complained Gajjan Singh.

Devinder Singh, an LIC employee, said the dirt and filth had made it difficult for us to work. “We have complained to authorities but of no use. People continue to throw garbage here. One gets to witness stray animals, mosquitoes and flies right from the morning. At times you don’t feel like working in such unpleasant conditions,” he rued. 



IT professionals get an update

Ludhiana, July 17
Taking a break from monotonous and formal conferences, Tech Gospels organised IT unConference for IT professionals and students. Speakers came from Amritsar, New Delhi, Chandigarh and Ludhiana to share their views on new technologies related to web development, mobile application development and cloud computing. — TNS



Two motorcycle thieves arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
With the arrest of two youths, the city police claims to have busted an inter-state gang of vehicle thieves and recovered four stolen motorcycles from their possession.

The accused have been identified as Raj Kumar and Vipan Singh, while Raj Kumar was nabbed last night from the Chupur road. Vipan was nabbed today.

According to SI Bittan Kumar, the accused were operating from Salemtabri and the Churpur road area.

They were conducting recce of the places in order to steal the vehicles. But the police managed to nab them on the basis of a tip-off.

Raj Kumar is wanted by Jammu, Jalandhar, Phagwara and Phillaur police in several cases of thefts. He was produced in the court and remanded in police remand. 



Lalla murder case adjourned till July 19
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 17
Court of Additional Sessions Judge Manjinder Singh today adjourned the murder case of Anil Sharma, alias Lalla, till July 19 after hearing partial arguments in the case.

The defence lawyer representing former Youth Congress office-bearer Nirdosh Dhand (accused) advanced his arguments this afternoon. He claimed that the prosecution story was highly improbable and could not be relied upon.

He said even as per the prosecution, Dhand was not present at the time of murder. It was not the prosecution’s case that he had committed murder.

The police in connivance with Lalla’s brother roped his client in the case, who got registered the case.

He said the charges against Nirdosh Dhand and his brother Vijay Dhand for hatching of conspiracy were not proved at all.

After this, the defence lawyer of accused Mohan Lal started his addressing arguments and continued till 4 pm. Now the remaining arguments would be heard on July 19.

Anil Sharma, alias Lalla, was murdered in the crowded main bazaar of Haibowal Kalan at around 10.15 am on February 4, 2004. The case was registered at the Haibowal police station. 



Video Conferencing 
250 jail inmates produced in courts

Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 17
At least 250 jail inmates were today produced before the courts at Samrala, Khanna and Ludhiana through video-conferencing from Central Jail, Ludhiana, successfully.

Sessions Judge SP Bangarh today inspected the functioning of video conferencing. Duty Magistrate Ajay Mittal marked the presence of the jail inmates through it at the district court complex. Jail authorities presented the inmates through video conferencing.

Sessions Judge Bangarh said the Duty Magistrates along with their steno, naibkot, have been deputed for the video conferencing. A special room has been set up to handle the entire process.

He said only those jail inmates would be presented against whom the police had not filed the charge sheet and the trial was yet to start. Once the charge sheet is presented, then the said undertrial would be produced in the court on the regular basis.

Divulging the details, Surinder Pal Khanna, superintendent, Central Jail, Ludhiana, claimed that soon they were going to be connected with courts in New Delhi. They have already got connected with the courts at Nawanshahar and Balachaur. He said the courts at Jagraon were likely to get connected for video conferencing by next week. This facility would save time and resources, as the police will not be required to transport undertrials to courts for every hearing, jail superintendent added.



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