L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Mayor hits back at Tewari
Says Union Minister writing baseless letters to MC, fund-utilisation process under way
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
Politics over the letter written by local MP and Union Minister Manish Tewari to the Municipal Commissioner regarding non-utilisation of the MPLAD funds provided by him has hot up in the city. Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria has taken Tewari head-on, claiming that the local MP was writing baseless letters to the MC as the process of utilisation of the MPLAD funds was under way.

On the Mayor's criticism of the local MP, Congress councillors claimed that the Mayor was “trying to defend his own failures by blaming the Union Minister".

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, the Mayor said, “As Tewari remained absent from the constituency for most of the time, he now wants to earn some brownie points by raking up such issues ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. It seems Tewari is in a hurry to take back the funds provided by him for reasons best known to him. The fact is that all development works carried out in the city were by the Akali-BJP combine and not funded by Tewari, who spends most of his time in Delhi instead of focusing on his constituency,” the Mayor said.

Meanwhile, in a joint statement, Congress councillors' leader in the House Hemraj Aggarwal and spokesperson Parminder Mehta said, “Instead of admitting to a delay in utilising the funds and finding a solution to the problem, the Mayor is trying to politicise the issue in an obvious bid to please his political boses.”

The Congress councillors said the Mayor should rather have been thankful to Tewari for providing funds to the cash-starved MC instead of criticising him.

Municipal Commissioner Rahul Tiwari said after the MPLAD funds arrived, the process for the utilisation of the money was initiated. “We have a set procedure for utilising the MPLAD funds, and it takes some time. The estimates have been prepared and a proposal has already been approved by the Mayor. There is no question of non-utilisation of funds. Tenders will be floated and the work for which the funds have been received will be carried out,” said the Municipal Commissioner.

Tewari had yesterday shot off a letter to the Municipal Commissioner stating that despite about 75 per cent grant having been provided by him for setting up 15 tubewells in different parts of the city, the MC had not taken any step to provide the remaining 25 per cent amount. Tewari had told the Commissioner that in case the corporation was unwilling to utilise the sanctioned amount, the money should be transferred back to his MPLAD Fund so that it could be directly provided for the welfare of the people for whom it was meant.


Health Department seizes 21 quintals of edible oils
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Duplicate stickers pasted on one of the edible oil tins at SP Trading Company
Duplicate stickers pasted on one of the edible oil tins at SP Trading Company

Ludhiana, October 18
A team of the Health Department, along with the police, today seized 21 quintals of "substandard" edible oils from SP Trading Company, Gokul Road, near Bute Shah Mandi in Ludhiana. An FIR has been registered in this connection against Mohit Kumar and his father Susheel Kumar under Sections 272 and 420 of the IPC, and Section 63 of the Copyright Act at the Division No. 1 (Kotwali) police station here.

Disclosing this, District Health Officer Abnash Kumar said, "We, along with the police, raided SP Trading Company this afternoon. The owners of the trading company used to stock, pack and distribute edible oils. They used to stock the oils in huge containers, having a capacity of 200 litres each. We found different types of oils such as palm oil, Palmolein oil and cottonseed oil in huge drums and tins. The owners used to fill tins of 15 liters each with these oils and used to paste stickers of reputed companies on these for sale in the market. These stickers were of companies such as Ginny, Surabhi, Natural Gold, Soya Drop and Sunlight. Adhesive material with which the owners used to paste these stickers was also found form the place."

The Civil Surgeon, Dr Subhash Batta, said, "I appeal to all concerned not to play with the health of the people. If anyone comes across any adulteration, he or she should immediately inform the Health Department."

Food Safety Officer Harpreet Kaur said, "We seized 117 tins of different oils (each tin containing 15 litres of oil) and 300 litres of loose oil, which was lying in two huge drums. In all, we seized 21 quintals of edible oils, which appear to be substandard.

She said as Palmolein oil was cheaper than other edible oils, it appeared that the owners had filled Palmolein oil in the tins and pasted stickers of other edible oils on these. The department collected two samples of the oil.



Eighteen more test positive for dengue
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
Eighteen more patients tested positive for dengue today. With this, the number of dengue patients in Ludhiana district has reached 338. The District Epidemiologist, Dr Anil Verma, said, "Today, 18 more patients from Ludhiana tested positive for dengue at the DMCH. Of them, 13 are from the city and five from the periphery."

So far, 338 dengue cases have been reported from Ludhiana district, 205 from other districts and 89 from other states who took treatment at various hospitals in the city.

On more than 300 dengue cases having been reported from the district, the Assistant Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, Dr Kaushal Saini, said, "Ludhiana is a big district. It has a sizeable population. There is nothing to panic and people must take the necessary preventive measures."

Meanwhile, a team of the Health Department visited ward numbers 9, 10, 19 and 20, and Dhandari and held 10 group meetings to spread awareness regrading dengue. The team checked 32 coolers and 49 containers. Larvae of dengue were found in three coolers. Rajinder Singh, sanitary inspector of the local MC, was informed about it so that challans could be issued to the defaulters. Pamphlets were also distributed.



17-year-old raped; boy booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
The city police has booked a boy on a charge of raping a 17-year-old girl after confining her at a religious place.

The accused has been identified as Bharat of Ropar.

The victim, who belongs to Batala, said she had met the boy in Amritsar.

He coaxed her to marry him and took her to the city, where he raped her for two days and left the city.



Special trains to cope with festival rush
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 18
In order to clear the increasing rush of passengers and facilitate people to travel to their native places during the coming festivals, the Northern Railway has decided to run several festival-special trains. In addition to running festival-special trains, the Railways also plans to provide additional coaches in the existing trains to cope with the rush of passengers during the festival season.

According to railway officials, the 04053/04054 bi-weekly Puja special express train will run between the Anand Vihar terminus (New Delhi) and Jammu Tawi from October 12 to November 23. The train, scheduled to make 26 trips during the festive season, will depart from Jammu Tawi on every Tuesday and Saturday, while it will run from the Anand Vihar terminus on every Monday and Friday. With general class and second class-cum-luggage van coaches, the train will have stoppages at the Ghaziabad, Meerut City, Saharanpur, Ambala Cantt, Ludhiana, Jalandhar Cantt and Chakki Bank stations en route both directions.

The Railways has announced to run many more special trains, which include the 04051/04052 tri-weekly between Anand Vihar and Jammu Tawi, the 04031/04032 daily train between the Delhi junction and Ambala Cantt, the 04033/04034 tri-weekly between New Delhi and Udhampur, the 04035/04036 tri-weekly express between Udhampur and Delhi Serai Rohilla, the 04602/04601 (unreserved) weekly between Amritsar and Muzaffarpur and the 02207/02208 weekly AC express between Jammu Tawi and Ahmedabad.

Among the other festival special trains are the 04733/04734 weekly between Sriganganagar and Jammu Tawi, the 05517/05518 bi-weekly between Saharsa and Ambala Cantt, the 05521/05522 bi-weekly between Darbhanga and Ambala Cantt, the 04113/04114 weekly express between Allahabad and Udhampur and the 03003/03004 weekly superfast between Howrah and Jammu Tawi.

Railway officials said a number of unreserved trains and a few others with second sleeper accommodation would be run from Ludhiana and Amritsar to various places for "Chhat Puja". An official announcement in this regard would be made in a couple of days, they said.



suicide bid by woman
Investigation into allegations against YAD leader begins
Mohit Khanna
Tribune Ness Service

Ludhiana, October 18
A day after the name of national vice-president of the Youth Akali Dal Meetpal Singh Dugri figured in a case of alleged suicide attempt by a woman, the city police has initiated a probe into the allegations.

It has come to light that the YAD leader had accompanied Harvinder Bagga and Gurdarshan Singh, alias Bobby, to the Dugri police station on October 12 for lodging a complaint of blackmail against a woman and her husband.

The trio had sought action against the woman and her husband in connection with lewd SMSes.

Sources said Bagga had obtained the details of the mobile from which the lewd SMSes were sent. The details were handed over to the police.

The woman had gone to the police station, where she levelled allegations of molestation against Bagga.

The sources said the police showed her the list of SMSes sent to Bagga from her phone. Seeing the list, she panicked and left the police station in a huff. Later, during the evening, she took poison and was admitted to the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. She complained to the police that Bagga and his "accomplices" forced her to take the extreme step.

The police registered a case and arrested Bagga on charges of molestation and forcing the woman to attempt suicide. Two unidentified persons were also booked in this connection.

Yesterday, the victim's sister had stated to the police that the two unidentified persons were Meetpal Singh Dugri and Gurdarshan Singh.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Ishwarjot Cheema has come out in support of Dugri.

He condemned the police for allegedly working under pressure. "Strange are the ways of the police for which the complainant (Harvinder Bagga) has become the accused and the accused (the woman in question) has become the victim. It is a novel way to go scot-free in cases of blackmail. Why is the police not taking action against the woman for a suicide attempt as it is illegal," asked Ishwarjot.

Jatinderjit Singh, SHO, Dugri police station, refused to give details and maintained that the matter was under investigation.

Second YAD leader to land in controversy

Dugri is the second YAD leader to have landed in controversy. Last year, the then senior vice-president, Maninder Pal Singh Johar, alias Sunny Goodwill, had caused embarrassment to the party after he, along with his accomplice, had allegedly assaulted senior police officer SS Mand outside a restaurant in Ghumar Mandi.

What Dugri says

We had no clue that Dugri SHO Jatinderjit Singh would call the woman to the police station for questioning. Later, the woman took poison. As the police officer was in the dock, he made us a scapegoat to save his skin. I will expose those involved on Saturday. I have the details of SMSes sent by the woman to Bagga. We had no clue that the woman was living in Bagga's neighbourhood. We took the legal route and obtained the address and telephone details by lodging a complaint in the cyber cell. Bagga had lodged harassment complaints twice in the past. However, no action was taken on his complaints ~

Meetpal Singh Dugri, national vice-president, yad



BSNL unions, contractors at loggerheads
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
Contractors and members of the BSNL unions are at loggerheads with both parties levelling allegations of embezzlement against one another.

The contractors burnt an effigy of the CMD, Delhi, and carried out protests outside the BSNL office at Bharat Nagar. They alleged that no action was being taken on the complaints filed by them about embezzlement in the uniform allowance paid to the C&D cadre staff of the BSNL. It was also alleged that the transfers of the cadre staff had not been done according to seniority and rather these were done on a pick-and-choose basis. Bogus bills were generated, causing losses to the BSNL.

Meanwhile, activists of the BSNL Executives and Non-Executives Unions and Associations also held a demonstration outside the offices of the DC and the Commissioner of Police and submitted memorandums to them. They have demanded that an FIR be lodged against contractors for allegedly threatening the employees. The union members also charge the contractors with embezzlement.

The General Manager, Telecom, BSNL, Bharat Nagar office, CS Bhanot, said the unions and contractors had been levelling allegations against one another. The police and the Vigilance Department of the telecom body were investigating the matter. They would take appropriate action against those found guilty, he said.



Kidnapped man rescued
Tribune Ness Service

Ludhiana, October 18
In a major breakthrough, the police today arrested a private financier, who had allegedly kidnapped a debt-ridden man from the Alamgir area last night.

The accused has been identified as Kaushal Sharma of Raj Guru Nagar. He was nabbed by the Dugri police while his two accomplices, Jagga and Rubal, both from Daad village, escaped.

The victim, Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Dugri, was rescued from his kidnappers. Jatinderjit Singh, SHO, Dugri police station, said: "Late at night, we received information that three persons, who were travelling in a car, had kidnapped a man, named Jaswinder Singh, from the Alamgir area."

The police laid a trap near the Phoolanwal area and nabbed Kaushal Sharma while his accomplice managed to escape.

Jaswinder had taken a loan of Rs 50,000 from Kaushal Sharma. But, he had failed to return the amount with interest.

Victim had taken loan

Jaswinder had taken a loan of Rs 50,000 from Kaushal Sharma. But, he had failed to return the amount with interest.



Exporters relieved as US shutdown comes to an end
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
Exporters heaved a sigh of relief after the shutdown in the US finally came to an end. During the shutdown period, the Indian exporters had face a lot of difficulty in doing business transactions.

"Now that the shutdown is over, I can finally think of trading in the US. I had been avoiding sending consignments to the US for the past 15 days because of the crippling of the trade facilities at the ports and airports in that country," said Sushil Singla, a garment exporter.

Orders from India were put on hold by the exporters. "There was no point in sending consignments/orders during the shutdown. Earlier it was depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar and now the shutdown of the US government has affected us very badly. As this crisis is over, I hope things will run smoothly now. The festival season in the US will be starting in December and we are gearing up for the same," sais another exporter, Rajat Khanna.

The US government had shutdown for the first time in nearly 18 years, as the Republican and the Democrats failed to strike a deal on spending and budget, mainly due to their differences over 'Obamacare', the flagship health care programme of President Barack Obama.

"Shutdown at this point of time came as a bad news. Recently, Indian exports were showing some signs of recovery and the Indian rupee was slowly regaining strength. Now that the deadlock is over, we are gearing up for the business," said Paramjit Singh, another exporter.

During the shutdown, national parks remained closed, most routine food inspections were suspended and paperwork at the government offices was slowed down. Only emergency and essential services were functional.

Exporters gear up for business

Now that the shutdown is over, I can finally think of trading in the US. I had been avoiding sending consignments to the US for the past 15 days because of the crippling of the trade facilities at the ports and airports in that country.

Sushil Singla, a garment exporter



common problems
Steel industrialists join hands
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
To fight against their common problems, the steel industry of Mandi Gobindgarh and Ludhiana got together on a single platform. The industry from both the industrial cities have decided to unitedly face the troubles.

The e-trip system of the Excise and Taxation Department is the major cause of concern for the industry.

“Small traders have been ruined completely as we do not have the required infrastructure for the e-trip system. We will be holding our meeting within a day or so and will plan our next course of action,” said Jasjit Singh, an owner of the Induction Furnace Association at Mandi Gobindgarh.

"On the one side, the Electricity Department is working against our interest as we have to face compulsory day offs, while on the other the Excise Department's e-trip is nail in our coffin. If things continued to be the same, the industry will completely move out of the state," said Satish Aggarwal from Ludhiana.



Markets abuzz with activity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
Women in the city are all excited about the coming Karwa Chauth festival. They have already started making preparations for the festival.

Markets are abuzz with activity with women making purchases for the festival. The traditional suits, pooja thalis, bangles, material needed for performing the ritual and cosmetics, are all being bought by the women.

"I have already bought a new pair of juttis matching with my new dress for the day. One should dress like a bride for the day. It is a special occasion for women," says Aarti.

Karwa Chauth has become very popular and people are getting close to their traditions in this modern era by celebrating the festival, said Sudha Sharma, a resident of Basant Vihar.

"Although I was not too keen to celebrate the festival, now as everyone celebrates it, I, too, find it interesting to get dressed well and follow the rituals," she adds.

"I am purchasing bangles and the other traditional things to celebrate the festival in a true way," says Preeti.



Worker falls off rooftop, dies

Ludhiana, October 18
A 35-year-old man died after he fell off a rooftop in the Salem Tabri area here today. The victim has been identified as Amarjit, a construction worker.

The police said Amarjit Singh was working at the house of Hardeep Singh in the Salem Tabri area in the afternoon. Hardeep said Amarjit fell off the rooftop while he was fixing a grill on the first floor of the house. Amarjit was rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to injuries. — TNS



Training makes dance more graceful: Terence Lewis
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
Terence Lewis, a noted choreographer, was in the city today for conducting his 'master class' through which he encourages people to dance.

He conducted his “master class” at Sacred Heart Convent School. It was a part of the three-day Punjab International Dance Festival organised by Sangita's Studio of Performing Arts. The ‘master class’ was aimed at teaching budding dancers.

An ambassador of dance as UNESCO's Counseil De La Danse, he represents India as a member of the UNESCO's initiative to encourage dance. Under the programme, he is supposed to encourage dance and doesn't necessarily teach dance.

The noted choreographer, who shot to fame after choreographing in Bollywood movies and TV reality shows, said dance had two forms, one being you dance for yourself, for expressing yourself and feel the joy of dance. You may take it up as a career. The other one is to celebrate dance as an art form and educate and inspire others to dance. He does the latter.

As far as teaching professionally, he doesn't teach novices. He rather teaches professionals who are passionate about dance, he said.

As an ambassador of dance, he takes out the fear of dancing. The biggest apprehension people have when it comes to dancing is the opinion and perception of others. Agreeing that Punjabis possess the joy de vivre and North Indians are rather bolder when it comes to dancing on weddings and dance floor, he said training always refines and makes dance more graceful, and the dancer becomes an object of beauty, just the way a sportsman becomes better with training.



school notes
Tributes paid

Kundan Vidya Mandir organised a function to pay tributes to its founder, Kundan Lal. The school campus donned a festive look to celebrate its founder's birthday. Paramjit Singh Gill, Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana, was the chief guest on the occasion. Mrinal Jindal, head boy of the school, formally introduced the chief guest to the gathering. Tiny tots of kindergarten enthralled the audience through their presentation “Adorable Nature - Kid's Delight”. Navita Puri, principal of the school, read out the annual report. She shared the glory of achievements won by the school in academics, sports and other curricular and extracurricular activities at the district, state and national level. A Hindi play, “Jal Hi Jeevan”, spread awareness about the need to conserve water. “Mera Desh Ro Raha Hai”, a thought-provoking choreography, left the audience spellbound. “Mother Nature Needs Us”, an English song, mesmerised the audience.

Exchange programme

Teachers from London take part in a 'havan' at DAV School in Phillaur
Teachers from London take part in a 'havan' at DAV School in Phillaur. A Tribune Photograph

Connecting classroom is an international organisation which provides an opportunity to exchange educational methodologies between the UK and other countries. Under this exchange programme, a group of six teachers from Tollgate Primary School, London, visited the host school (DRV DAV Centenary Public School, Phillaur) from October 14 to October 17. During these days, they shared their everlasting experiences with the staff members, parents and mediapersons. A ‘havan’ was performed on the valedictory function for their goodwill and prosperity. Principal Yogesh Gambhir said the visit of the delegates was a memorable event.

Educational trip

Students from classes VI to X of Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar Bypass, went for an educational trip to Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib and Manji Sahib. Nearly 600 students and 30 teachers paid obeisance at Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib and Gurdwara Manji Sahib, Doraha. The students were apprised of the historical significance of the place. The staff and students of the school relished the “Guru Ka Langar”. — TNS



College notes
Placement drive

As many as 14 students were shortlisted in a joint campus placement drive conducted by India’s largest transportation company “Agarwal Packers and Movers Ltd” at the RIMT Group of Institutes. As many as 130 candidates from RIMT, DAVIET, Banda Singh Bahadur College, Punjabi University and Surya World participated in the placement drive.

Jashan-e-Youth celebrations

Gurleen Kaur, finalist of Bharat Ki Shaan Season 3, at the outset of the Jashan-e-Youth celebrations at INIFD, near Guru Nanak Bhawan, staged a rocking performance with Bollywood numbers. She opened with “Main Pareshaan” and followed it up with “Tum Hi Ho”. She was on all cylinders performing “Qurbaan Hua”. Later, she made everybody tap on “Latt Lagg Gayi”. Finally, Punjabi number “Kuriye ni Tere Brown Rang Ne” put the stage on fire and students of INIFD occupied the dancing floor. Through her performances, Gurleen inspired the budding artistes between 12 and 24 years who are competing in this talent hunt for which Jashan-e-Youth team is conducting auditions in various educational institutions. The mesmerising performances by Gurleen were followed up by auditions of singing and dancing for boys and girls of 12 to 24 years. The jury of Jashan-e-Youth included Dr Charan Kamal Singh, director, Ishmeet Singh Music Institute, and Gautam, Dance Ecstasy Studio. As many as 21 students performed in the contest, of which 15 contestants were selected for the second stage of the contest of singing and dancing that will take place at Ishmeet Singh Music Institute.

PTU youth fest

Girls present giddha during the Punjab Technical University Youth Festival (South Zone) at a college in Ludhiana
Girls present giddha during the Punjab Technical University Youth Festival (South Zone) at a college in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Punjab Technical University's Youth Festival (South Zone) commenced on Friday in the auditorium of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College. As many as 30 colleges participated in different events of the festival. The function started with an invocation. Students of the college presented a soulful rendition of ‘shabad’. Jagdev Singh Jassowal, doyen of Pb. Cultural Scene, graced the occasion and exhorted the students to take forward the torch of the cultural renaissance. While complimenting the organisers for the festival, Jassowal bemoaned the loss of sense of belonging among the youth today. Vineet Joshi, media advisor to the Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab, was the guest of honour. Joshi recalled the sacrifices of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. Dr SM Kant, adviser, Culture and Youth, PTU, conveyed the message to the students that the youth festivals provide a forum to the students to communicate their intrinsic talents through various mediums. He profusely eulogised the services of Prof Kanwaljit Singh, chief coordinator of the youth festival. Students drawn from various engineering and management colleges of Fatehgarh, Ludhiana, Sangrur and Patiala districts are participating in over 24 events ranging from folk dances, music, drama, mono, acting, skits to technical events, debates, elocution and poetry recitation. — TNS



Ludhiana scan
Power shutdown

11-KV Patiala House feeder, fed from 66-KV GT Road substation, will remain shutdown for urgent repair and maintenance works on October 19 from 10 AM to 3 PM. Power supply to areas, including Rupa Mistry Street, Shivala Road, Gulchaman Gali, Tilak Nagar, Mohalla Vakilan, Purana Bazar, Chowk Saidan and Brahmpuri, will be affected during this period.

Salon opened

Strands Salons opened its second outlet in the city at Hotel Park Plaza on Friday. The salon would provide a range of skin, beauty, hair, makeup and spa treatments by experts from Wella and Strands Academy. Strands lounge boasts of an international look and efficient staff. The spa section of the unisex salon is devoted to enhance overall well-being through a variety of professional services.

Zonal youth fest

Vineet Joshi, Assistant Media Adviser to the Punjab Chief Minister, appealed to students to come forward against social evils like female foeticide, corruption, drug menace and illiteracy. He said this while addressing the students of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College students during the Zonal Youth Festival at the college.

Birth anniversary celebrated

Birth anniversary of Bhagwan Valmiki was celebrated at several places in the city. Organisations, including the Valmiki Mandir Dharamshala Welfare Society, Mahamuni Shambhu Welfare Society, Dharmik Ekta Welfare Society, Dr Ambedkar Ekta Mission, Hindu Uthhan Parishad apart from others, celebrated the day with devotion. The functions saw visits by dignitaries and political leaders.

Meetings held

A meeting of the Government School Lecturer Union was organised on Friday. During the meeting, long-pending demands of the union, including promotion, quota revisions for the promotions, revision of school timings, were made.

PPCC secretary Sarabjit Singh Bunti alleged that the condition of the city has worsened since the start of the tenure of the Mayor. He said the party had started the “mayor hatao, sheher bachao” campaign against the mayor. He said this during a meeting of the party workers in the city on Friday. — TNS



3 booked for carjacking
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
The police has registered a case against three unidentified persons for robbing the driver of a businessman of a Hyundai i-20 car near the Lodhi Club here last night.

The victim has been identified as Hardeep Singh. He told the police that the incident took place last night when he was heading to a shop for taking the cloth material of his employer Vijay Kumar.

He said when he reached near the Lodhi Club road, three persons, who were in a Maruti Alto car, intercept him. They entered into a scuffle with him. The trio made the scuffle appear like a road-rage incident.

In the meantime, one of the assailants pulled out a dagger and intimidated him. Hardeep got panicked and ran away. The robbers sat in the Hyundai I-20 and drove towards the Mullapur side.



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