Saturday, May 31, 2008

Indo- China War 1962

Tawang Monastery

Inaccurate Maps
Suddenly our role was changed from defence of Tawang, the Divisional Vital Ground, to evict the Chinese from DHOLA post. Moves on the chessboard started. Planting of small flags on maps in the Operations Rooms of various HQ had commenced. Unfortunately most of the maps were sketchy and at best inaccurate. Incredibly the whole of the operation of river Namka Chu involving 7 Bde was planned on a sketch prepared by an Assam Rifles jawan. This was the best available at all levels from Brigade to Army HQ. It was inaccurate, not to scale and was supplied to all and sundry in the form of a blueprint. Even I was de- briefed on the same on my return from the debacle by the Director Military Intelligence and the Director Signals.

No Border Maps
A word about the state of maps of the area of Op Leghorn and why the Assam Rifle sketch became so important and indispensable. I quote from a letter, dated 24 Sep 2001, from my elder brother Shri Ratna Singh.
Quote.- It was about October, at this time, I was a supervisory officer in Survey of India at Dehradun and we were working round the clock in connection with the up dating of our Northern Border maps using Aerial Photography and photogrammetric techniques. It is interesting to, note that till then our border maps were sketchy and could not be relied upon. -Unquote.

9 Punjab was ordered to move from Tawang and contact Dhola post. CO Lt Col Mishra in the process deployed his battalion along the Namka Chu River line. To my ill luck, he never took the Signals detachment with him and left the 62 Set and the operators at his base at Lumpu with his 2IC Major Dilbagh Singh. He had his own set working back to the base at Lumpu. He must have had his own reasons for this unconventional action. However, my problems and brickbats from higher HQ had already started, who were not interested in Mishra's reasons, they were more worried as to why information was not coming through signal channels.

Delay in passage of messages
The extremely long distances over which communications were required, all the way from Army HQ at Delhi to Dhola, on the Tri- junction of India China and Bhutan had its own problems. Engineered on different and mostly mismatched equipment, vagaries of atmospherics and the physics of ionosphere, the system was far from robust with little redundancy. Holdings and use of multiple cryptographic systems, Linex, Book and Machine at various levels from Battalions, Brigade, Division to Army HQ added their own share to the bottlenecks and delays at various levels in the passage of the messages.

Mobile communication
Split HQs, Commanders and Staff mostly away from their HQs, Signals uprooted time and again and mostly on move, it was a wonder that Communications did exist, if at all. Delays had to happen in the passage of messages. No doubt I had to bear the brunt, even though both my CO Lt Col Tewari and the Commander Brig Dalvi shielded me. However, Priority messages pending in the signal centre or on the wireless links, the only means of clearing traffic, did create their own share of stress in me, as would have been the case with any other signal officer.

Delay of Top Secret Messages
Senior Signals Officers had also to share the burden of pressures from top. Brig Dalvi has recorded in his book about the delay in a Top Secret message from Gen Kaul originated from 1/9 GR location, from where there was no provision or facility to clear such messages. The Signal elements of the Brigade including me were all this time on move, the Brigade had neither a functioning HQ nor any signal communication system.

Brigadier Dalvi writes
quote- A sturdy Sikh from the Punjabis would be detailed to 'run' with the vital message to Lumpu. From there, the second- in–command of the Punjabis would phone it through to Ziminthaung (A Top Secret message on an open line, to which a Chinese agent possibly could have te-ed in his telephone for transmission to Peking even before it reached Delhi.) where it would be enciphered and transmitted to Tezpur, Delhi and Lucknow. The first message reached Delhi after three days. Mr Menon was extremely annoyed and demanding the dismissal of the Chief Signal Officer of Eastern Command for inefficiency.-unquote

Brig Lakshman Singh (Retd)

Tawang was returned to the control of India. The valiant last stand of Mahavir Chakra awardee Jaswant Singh Rawat took place in Tawang. After the voluntary withdrawal of Chinese troops, Tawang was once again under Indian administration. In recent years, China has occasionally voiced its claims on Arunachal Pradesh, especially Tawang, and Chinese troop incursions continue to occur frequently. According to news reports, the state government was willing to swap territories with China in order to make border adjustments, but it firmly refused to lose out any major towns or monasteries to China. Today, Tawang serves as a center for tourist attractions, thanks to the preserved beauty of the Tawang monastery.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Is RTI Citizen Friendly or Regressive as OSA?

This refers to the column On the Right to Know in the NIE of 26 May 2008.

The RTI Act, 2005 is no doubt the best legislation post 15 Aug 1947. It is also the only legislation that recognises the fundamental principle of a working democracy- the empowering of people through informed decision making. No doubt the Act is not perfect and these have been taken up with the concerned authorities- right up to the President of India- on many occasions. They are yet to be acted upon.

Unfortunately, the government after enacting a fairly powerful, simple, straightforward law entrusted its implementation to people who should have been presumed vested interests in subverting it. Events of the last 32 months of operation of this Act has proved the fears of activists in this field to be true.

To begin with, the bureaucrats who have been appointed as Chief Information Commissioners at the Centre and in most of the states have more than amply demonstrated their lack of commitment in implementing the Act by not using the deterrent clauses of the Act to impose punishments on the delinquent public authorities. Worse, they have gone overboard to substantially subvert the provisions of the Act by themselves holding that information sought in the form of questions need not be provided! The judiciary has also played spoil sport by increasing the cost of application exorbitantly (the Delhi High Court had made it Rs 500/- against Rs 10/- by the Centre and most of the states!) and also introducing fee for the first appeal when the first appeal has itself been provided as an opportunity for a senior official of the public authority to correct any mistakes committed by its public information officer who is generally a lower level official. The incompetence of the information commissioners have compounded the problem in the case of the courts wherein the Central Information Commission had itself passed an order that judicial proceedings will be out of purview of the RTI Act. (Please see the report 'Information Act will not apply to judicial proceedings: Commission' in the NIE of 27 Sep 2007.)

Right from the beginning all proceedings in our courts are supposed to be in 'open courts', except in the case of certain sensitive cases which are held 'in camera'. A provision to protect such 'in camera' proceedings from inquisitive eyes is being misinterpreted to keep the judiciary itself from the purview of the first pro-democracy Act. And now the CJI goes overboard and declares that his office itself is beyond the purview of the Act! Instead of the Central Information Commission setting up a full bench to decide if the CJI's stand is legal or not, the real need is for the law makers to proceed with impeachment of the CJI for proven incompetence! Sec 2(h) of the RTI Act which defines a public authority leaves no room for doubt that the office of the CJI is a public authority and since it does not figure in the list of public authorities specified in the second schedule of the Act who are kept out of its purview there is no need for wrecking one's brain too much to decide if the CJI is true or not. Yes, one may tickle one's brain to decide if it is purely a matter of incompetence of the CJI or a calculated move to keep his office out of public scrutiny because his office has things which needs to be hidden from public scrutiny!

Maj PM Ravindran (Retd)
CIC to decide if CJI under RTI Act
With unfriendly ex-babus in charge, info a pipedream
Income Tax investigation out of Right to Information

Thursday, May 29, 2008

SCPC: Protest Rally Jantar Mantar 07 May 2008

More Protest Rally Pictures
Haryana Ex Services League

SCPC: Let us combat injustice








Dehra Dun: Fast for Justice 27 May 2008

Fast for Justice Rally held at Dehradun by Ex-Services league on 27 May 08, against 6th Pay Commssion.

Lt Col B M Thapa,Retd
Gen Secy
Dehradun Ex-Services League

The Gurudaspur Report: Fast for Juctice 27 May 2008

The "Fast for Justice" against the 6PC was held on 27 May 2008. 70 Offrs, JCOs and ORs were present to display our disapproval of SCPC.
Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Hoshiarpur have more than 80,000 ESM in each district. May I request that we be given minimum of 10 days notice before holding the next event, so that the information can trickle down to ESM living in Villages and all over the District, to attend the next event for increased level of participation.

Kamaljit Kahlon

SCPC: Fast for Justice 27 May 2008: One Resounding Voice

It was worth being at the lawns of India Gate in the shades of the trees and the sun scrotching over head. There were old soldiers 70 and above in abundance to make up for all those who did not feel like coming in the hot weather. Those who did not come missed the spirit.....may be next time you get the courage and the josh...till then....

Well Done Gen Satbir..and Gen Kadyan ......and you both looked impressive on NDTV English and Hindi show and were able to put across our points very well for the nation to hear us....through your voice.

We are with you.....

Cdr Sharan Ahuja (Retd)

Comments: Reflects the sentiments of all Ex- Servicemen. One voice One Goal.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

New Delhi India Gate: Fast for Justice 27 May 2008

Ex-soldiers under the banner of All India Military Veterans Movement protest near India Gate while expressing their resentment over the recommendations of Sixth Pay Commission in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Social activist Nafisa Ali (left) speaks to ex-armymen staging a protest rally at India Gate expressing their resentment at the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The Report From Dehra Dun: Fast For Justice 27 May 2008

Further to Brig Behl's mail. (See below)
All ESMs & families marched with candles and lighted the candles on Kargil War Memorial.

Programme was successful as per the schedule. Media raction have been very positive in highlighting 6th PC indifference to Defence Services. All the news papers covered the news with photographs.

Local MLA Sh Ganesh Joshi who retired from Garhwal unit also joined the Rally. Governor who left for Delhi, is going to speak on this issue with Defence Minister. CM has also been requested to take up the remedial measures.

We will be planning again such Rallies on hearing from you. Many thanks for sending us day to day information/ development so promptly.

Brij Thapa

Hundreds of Veterans from all shade and groups assembled at Kargil War Memorial in Rally to lodge their prorest against 6th CPC recommendations and went round the memorial in procession with lighted candles to register their protest in support of protests Rallies being held all over the country. It is first time that all have combined and assembled on one platform. Important anomalies were read by Brig KGBehl, President Dehradun Ex-Services League after which the candle procession started. Acopy of Press release is enclosed which gives basic points which you may like to circulate to all concrned.

Brig Behl (Retd)

The Report from Coimbatore: Fast for Justice 27 May 2008

Photo: K Ananthan

The Assembly of Military Veterans to protest the recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission was held at Coimbatore from 0830 to 1000hrs. We were given permission only up to 0930 hrs but the police on duty were courteous and let us continue till 1000 hrs. There was another rally which was to be held at the same location. The media coverage was good in Regional and English papers. The regional papers which covered the event are Dina Malar,Daily, Thanthi, Dina Mani, Dinakaran. The English papers which covered the event are:
The Hindu: Ex-servicemen protest against 6th Pay Commission report
News today: Govt looking into grievances of ex-servicemen

Capt (IN) H Balakrishnan who had come from Chennai to support us was of great help in contacting News today and NDTV and preparation of press release. We had 4 Regional TV Channels which covered the event and NDTV had aired clips of the Coimbatore assembly in the evening at 1930hrs and can be viewed at the following link: NDTV Clip and, as insets during news point at 2200hrs. Col A Sridharan spoke on the Regional TV channels and this was aired in the evening. Four existing Ex Servicemen's organisations participated in the event. The event was funded by Col A Sridharan.

Lt Col SK Menon (Retd)

Fast for Justice 27 May 2008: India Gate New Delhi

All India Military Veterans Movement: Fast For Justice

Dear Friends,
1. The event of Hunger Strike/ Fast for Justice at India Gate New Delhi has been a grand success. Over 1200 Officers, JCOs, Jawans and ladies attended the event. It was heartening to see a large number of Generals present at the event. There was one Rear Admiral from the Navy. We feel sorry that no senior officer from the Air Force came to attend the Fast for Justice. However, there were a few air force officers of the rank of Gp Capt and below.

2. This Movement by Military Veterans is for All Veterans irrespective of the service against the grave injustice done to the Defence personnel both serving and veterans. There, is therefore need that all veterans from the three services must join in the efforts and carry out movement unitedly. I am sure as we go along all will join.

3. The news from other cities is pouring in and we are sure all would have gone very well. The organizers at respective locations may kindly send the after action report.

4. The event at India Gate was well attended by the Media and we hope they carry it in the respective channels and news paper. Gen Raj Kadyan and self have been called by the NDTV English tonight for 10PM news discussion. You all may kindly see it on TVs.

5. The impact of today’s event has been good. The aim is to inform the people of our country about the ill- treatment meted out to the Military by the 6th CPC and request the Government to accept our genuine demands at the earliest.

6. There is urgent need to constitute the Steering Committee at the earliest so that the much needed unity is seen on the ground and we can plan and coordinate the future action plans of our Movement country wide. It may be a long struggle. Let us prepare ourselves to be effective and successful.

With regards,
Jai Hind
Yours’ Sincerely
Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM
All India Military Veterans Movement

The Tricity Chandigarh Report: Fast for Justice 27 May 2008

1. As on going "PAN INDIA" ' Movement' to get 'JUSTICE" , a token 'FAST' was observed by the Military Veterans of Tri City of Chandigarh , Panchkula and Mohali , including areas around on 27 May between 10 AM and 6 P.M. at Major Shankla Memorial Sector -2 Panchkula . This Site was chosen as other War Memorial in Chandigarh was under Section 144 Cr CP.

2. Over one thousand Veterans , their families and some Defence Widows participated.

3. What was most heartening was the participation by Senior General Officers and equivalent who included:
Lt Gen RS Dyal, former Governor of Andaman and Nicobar ,
Lt Gen Harwant Singh, former Deputy Chief of Army Staff,
Lt Gen Depinder Singh, former Army Commander and Overall force Commander Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka,
Air Marshal Randhir Singh , former AOC-in-C Trg Comd (a Second World War Fighter Pilot),
Air Marshal PK Jain
Air Vice Marshal GS Punia.
Major Generals and equivalent were too numerous to list.

4. Wreaths were laid on the Memorial, a Two Minutes Silence observed before commencement of the 'Fast'.

5. The 'Fast' was well covered by the media both print and electronic. During the interaction with the Media our demands were explained to them which were well received.

6. A total over Rs five thousand, which were base upon contribution were spent on the logistics of the event.

Brig Harwant Singh (Retd)

Bangalore: Fast for Justice 27 May 2008

NDTV interviews General Natarajan

Ms Rajan, Basavangudi Times captures the action

Col Rajan, Mrs Bhinder, Gp Capt Bhinder

Bangalore: Fast for Justice 27 May 2008

AsiaNet interviews a veteran

AsiaNet interviews Colonel Rajan

Air Marshal Keith Lewis and Colonel Rajan

General View Bangalore Function

In foreground Sqn Ldr Philipos, aged 92

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fast for Justice: 27 May 2008 India Gate

Media Reports: Fast for Justice on 27 May 2008

The Telegraph
Veterans to fast for soldier pay

Indian Express
Ex-servicemen to go on fast to press demands

Outlook India
Ex-servicemen protest against Pay Commission recommendations

The Hindu
Ex-servicemen protest Pay Panel's recommendations

Zee News
Veterans to fast for soldier pay: The Telegraph

Ex-servicemen protest over pay panel; uncalled for, says minister

Tribune India
Ex-servicemen on fast against pay proposals

Economic Times
Ex-servicemen stage protests against Pay panel recommendations

Ex-soldiers take to streets over pay, Govt frowns

The Statesman
Ex-servicemen protest

Times of India
Ex-servicemen take pay protest to streets

Today 27th We Demonstrate For Our Due

Please bear with me friends,

Today 27th May, we the retired PBOR and Officers who served to safeguard India's Territorial integrity, and provided conditions to make many Indians rich and secure, will be trying to tell our Country and the Government not to forget that, by demonstrating all over India for dignity in the 6th CPC.

I thought this link below of melody which is played in USA during Memorial Ceremonies will be of relevance. Such is also played in Singapore on National and other days and Veterans are looked after for life.

If you enjoy it please do pass on to your Civilian friends especially the IAS who have made sure the Armed Forces are kept down. They throw peanuts at them by providing Cadre Reviews, and now with 2700 up gradations are in the pipeline unmindful of 25%, 18% and 16% shortages in the Army, Air Force and Navy and the long term effects.

Melody Memorial Ceremonies

Cmde Ranjit Rai (Retd)
Received from Brig PT Gangadharan (Retd)

Pay Commissions Galaxy of Goof- Ups

1. Not so pragmatic : God save us from ourselves!
2. The proposed "Service members' Redressal of Grievances Act": Statutory liability to respond to/ act upon grievances of service members.
3. The year was 1992- This is what the Chairman COSC had to say to the Defence Minister.

Read them all at Indian Military: Service benefits and Issues

Maj Navdeep Singh (TA)

Military Veterans Movement: FAST FOR JUSTICE on 27 May 08

Dear Friends,
1. Before, we meet at 10AM on 27 May 08, I once again wish to appeal all Military Veterans and individual veterans to participate in the protests throughout the country in large numbers.
2. We have informed the MHA through a letter by Let Gen Raj Kadyan dated 14 May08 to Hon’ble Home Minister Shri Shivraj Patil (Copy attached), about the Hunger Strike on 27 May 08, we hope the Govt will not disturb our peaceful protests of Fast for Justice against the highly unjust and iniquitous in 6th PCR.
3. May, we request you to kindly wear miniature medals and carry your Identity Card. Let us all meet at India Gate at 10 AM on 27 May 08.

With regards,
Jai Hind
Yours’ Sincerely
Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM

From: Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd)
Chairman, ESM Movement

To: Shri Shivraj Patil
Hon’ble Minister of Home Affairs
North Block, New Delhi

Dear Shri Shivraj Patil,
We, the Ex-servicemen of India feel greatly aggrieved by the Sixth Pay Commission report. In this connection we wanted to hold a rally at the India Gate War Memorial on 27 April 2008. However, permission to do so was denied by the Home Ministry on the grounds of Section 144 of the Cr PC being in force at and around India Gate. As disciplined soldiers and responsible citizens we abided by the orders and shifted our venue elsewhere.

Do allow me to point out that India Gate is frequently used for protests and demonstrations of various kinds. Just to quote an example, in 2006 a huge demonstration was held at India Gate to demand justice for Jessica Lal. I am attaching copy of a press report of this demonstration, which also includes a picture. And there are many other similar instances. Therefore, prima facie denying permission to us for holding a disciplined and peaceful rally in support of some two million defence pensioners appears to have been discriminatory.

I write this to inform you that the EX-Servicemen would be holding a daylong hunger strike at India Gate Boat Club lawns on 27 May 2008.

With best regards,
Yours sincerely,
sd/ Lt Gen Raj Kadyan (Retd)

Copy to:
Dr Manmohan Singh, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, 7 Race Course Road, New Delhi
Smt Sonia Gandhi, President Indian National Congress, 10 Janpath New Delhi
Dated: 14 May 2008
— Photo: R V Moorthy

SEEKING JUSTICE: Nafisa Ali along with other protesters holding candles to demand justice for Jessica Lal at the India Gate in New Delhi on Saturday.

NEW DELHI: Demanding justice for Jessica Lal, human rights activists, people from the Capital's fashion fraternity, artists, students and concerned citizens got together on Saturday evening for a candlelight vigil and protest demonstration here at India Gate. Among those participating in the vigil were Jessica's sister Sabrina, social activist Swami Agnivesh, Neelam Krishnamurthy of the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy, young murder victim Nitish Katara's mother Neelam Katara, fashion designer Ravi Bajaj, model Joey Mathew and a large number of students and teachers from Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Overwhelming response

Speaking out at the first public demonstration demanding justice for Jessica, Sabrina said: "It is overwhelming to see that so many people care enough to have taken time out to come here and be a part of this demonstration. For me the battle is personal, but I feel stronger today when I see that the battle now is not just mine. I want justice for my sister. I had given up hope but now I feel that something will come out of fighting this battle together. The Government, the police and the judiciary cannot ignore a voice that is so loud and clear."

While the gathering engaged in slogan shouting, lighting candles and singing extempore songs, family members, friends and concerned citizens seemed eager to ensure that their voices were heard.

"We are standing here for justice and we have understood that we need to be together to make things happen in our country. What has happened to Jessica can happen to anyone, and sadly till the public decides that enough is enough innocent people will keep getting killed and we are going to suffer. We want to tell the Government that delay is not acceptable and that we want a time-bound system where justices is done," said Ms. Krishnamurthy. Underlining the need for a fast and transparent judicial system, a Delhi University student said, "This here now is a protest not just for Jessica; it is also for the common man who is vulnerable in a corrupt system. We don't blame Shayan Munshi for not standing up for Jessica as an eyewitness in the case, we need a better witness protection system where the common man doesn't feel threatened to speak the truth."

Monday, May 26, 2008

SCPC Soldier and Izzat

I have the following views to offer:

  • The slogan should be "Now and Ever" instead of "Now or Never". Apart from pay and allowances, there are many issues to be resolved with the Nation as a whole if the Soldier has to serve with IZZAT. Unfortunately it is a class struggle. Bahishkar with the Babu and Neta may help.

  • Like a major PARTY in the Country, let there be one Organisation for ESMs with branches in various states. Let us be the life Members, with some Membership fee. Let us have a membership number instead of printing ranks and decorations for emails. Let us have our own publication too.

  • Without "Report my Signal" nothing would have been possible today. Let this become a national facility with hubs all over. Many of us will contribute in cash and time.

  • Membership of Report my Signals should be extended to the Serving Officers. Let the young generation know, what can happen to them also after retirement. As an example, many of us remained under the impression that life time medical cover was our right. AGIF and ECHS were shocks.

  • To the ONE RANK ONE PENSION, I would like to add anomaly like a Maj Gen getting lesser pension than a Brigadier. The example is just to highlight as to how a BABU gets away with everything.

    With regards,
    Maj Gen Satish Chandra (Retd)
  • Appeal: Report My Signal

  • How well are you prepared in your city to support the function of 27 May?
  • You must hold a function on 27 May - - - choose the method you feel is right.
  • Do not just keep sitting inside your home and keep reading and sending emails.
  • Wake up before it is too late for all of us.
  • Motivate maximum number of All Ranks of the Three Services to take part in Mission "Justice for Defence Services".
  • "Report My Signal" forum does not belong to any one ESM Group. It belongs to YOU ALL.

    Report My Signal Team
  • Silent Rally Nurpur and Palampur (HP)

    Rallies against recommendations of 6 PC were organized in various towns/ cities of Himachal Pradesh under the aegis of state IESL. Maj Vijay Singh Mankotia is the state president & Col YS Rana is Secretary. Here is brief report though a little belated.

    1. On 30.4.08 a big rally was held at Palampur attended by about 1500 ESM.

    2. on 14/5/08 a rally was organized at NURPUR. It was well attended.

    3. On 15/5/08 a large number of ESM got together at Palampur to voice their dissatisfaction & resentment against 6 PC.

    On all above rallies speakers briefed the ESM about the injustice done by the 6 PC & demanded that one rank one pension be granted without delay. All early retired soldiers be given jobs, the status of soldiers downed by successive commissions be restored.

    On 16/05/08 a group of retired officers presented a memorandum to Chief Minister Professor P K Dhumal at Una.

    Brig Charan Singh (Retd)

    Sunday, May 25, 2008

    Exercise Aman Sena- 2008

    Exercise Aman Sena, an international exercise on United Nations mandated, multidimensional, Integrated, Peace Support Operations commenced at the College of Defence Management (CDM), Secunderabad on 21 May 08. This exercise is a pioneering effort by CDM under the aegis of HQ Integrated Defence Staff, where about 90 officers of the Armed Forces from 15 countries including India are participating for the next nine days commencing from 21 to 28 May 2008.

    The aim of Exercise Aman Sena is to provide an opportunity to the participants to share experiences of UN peace support operations, and to develop a common understanding of the framework and procedures in such operations. The exercise also intends to provide a platform to the participating countries for closer cooperation, synergy, meeting of minds and for working together in pursuance of larger international interests.


    Military Veterans Movement for Justice to Defence Forces

    Dear Friends,
    The "Fast for Justice" will be conducted in almost all districts and big cities of the country. The number may well cross 300. Our earlier estimation was 100 cities. Today, at the Press Conference at Press Club of India at New Delhi which was well attended by the media including DD News. They have covered it during the prime time news today.

    We request one and all to enhance the publicity and issue a “Call” to all veteran organizations to join in the efforts "Fast for Justice" rally on 27th May 2008 nationwide.

    With regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours’ Sincerely,
    Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM (Retd)


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