PUCL Bulletin, Nov., 2000

UP PUCL: Varanasi :July 15

Police attacks on Muslims during Muharram

The Varanasi branch of UP PUCL appointed a 4-member team headed by a District PUCL President Shri Gurinder Singh to look into incidents of violence and imposition of curfew at the time of Muharram on April 16th and to investigate the instances of Human Rights violation. The other members of the team were Shri Ranvir Ahmad Siddiqui, Shri Chandra Mani Tripathi and Shri Susdhanshu Aggarwal (Secretary). The Investigation team started its work on April 24th when curfew was lifted. It talked to about a hundred affected persons including the two local MLAs, Shri Shyam Deo Chowdhary (South) and Shri Abdul Kalam (North) and Shri Rajendra Kumar Mishra (MLC). The team also met Shri Satyendra Kumar Jain Father of Shri Vinod Jain who was killed during the incidents. It toured Chhittanpura, Adampura, Pilikothi, Madanpura, Jangambari, Rewari talab, and Pandeya Haveli to gather facts. The Committee also tried to meet the concerned administrative and police officers but in spite of repeated attempts it could not elicit their co-operation.

The FIR in Adampura Thana against 23 persons u/s 65/2000 u/c 127/148/149/336/307/ IPC, u/c 7 Criminal law Amendment Act dated April 17th was registered by the SI in charge of Hanuman Phatak Chowki, Shri RS Pathak. It was also registered against one, Naushad u/s 66/2000 (S.4/5 of Explosives Act).

In report of the incident of killing of Vinod Jain against 14 persons was registered on April 18th at 10 past 10 am at Dashashvamedh Thana under Section - 42/2000 u/c. 147/148/149/302/336/427/352/332/295 (K) IPC, 7 Criminal law Amendment Act. It is reported that Vinod Jain was killed at 9.00 pm. The administration also took action under NSA against three of the fourteen accused, Ajonal Keki, Noorul Hassan and Afzal. According to information gathered, Noorul Hassan and Afzal did not have any Criminal record.

Shri Rajesh Kumar Mishra, MLC, told the team on April 25 that he did not consider the incidents of April 16th Communal. According to him, these were the result of groupism and lack of experience of the administration. If the administration had become alert after the incidents of the Chandupura and Adampura on April 16th, the incidents of Madanpura during the Tazia procession would have been prevented and the condemnable killing of Vinod Jain would not have taken place. Every year, during the Tazia procession, the traffic on Godaulia, Madanpura and Sonarpura roads used to be closed. But on that day neither the traffic was stopped nor the police took any other preventive step. According to Shri Mishra, the attack on Vinod Jain was for looting, not a communal act. He also said that not giving any facilities during the curfew was a very serious matter and said that the residents of the affected areas, who belonged to a particular community, were deprived of the basic necessities like electricity, water and milk. The administration also did not provide any garbage clearing services during the period. The police constables entered the houses of the Muslims and indulged in destruction, behaved inhumanity with women and children. He termed the proceeding on leave by the SSP after the incidents of April 16th as very serious and said that it was the result of groupism in the administration.

Shri Shyam Deo Rai Chowdhary termed it as a communal incident. He said that the member of the Muslim Community wanted to congregate and place Tazia near the house of Shri Suraj Singh under the Adampura Thana. This year, this was a new spot; therefore, the police prevented them. He said that the killing of Vinod Jain was an act of communal violence. He appreciated that the step taken by the administration and said that its timely action saved Varanasi District from severe communal violence. Talking about the incidents April 17th, Shri Chowdhary said that work was proceeding on the construction of a mosque in Chandupura. Stone throwing from their on the houses of Hindus started at 10 in the morning. This created a panic. Two young boys, in the crowd Naushad and Salim, has bombs in their hands. In the meanwhile, the police came to know of it and they came and advanced menacingly with their lathis, which resulted in stampede and an explosion. The explosion and he blew off both the arms of a young man was seriously injured. The police took him to the hospital. About 26 or 27 people from both the communities were taken into custody. He expressed his apprehension that if they were let off, would be destroyed. Shri Chowdhary said that there were no Tazia processions from different places. There was no crowd where the violence began. In the city at a number of other places, there were crowds. The police refused to let off those who were taken into custody. There was a demand for the suspension of SI M. P. Singh of Adampura. He was sent to the Lines. Shri Chowdhary says that during this period Shri Mulayam Singh reached. Some people met him. It is not known what transpired but the same night Shri Vinod Jain was taken into a lane of Madanpura and killed. At that time there were no processions in that area, there was no police presence in Madanpura. Apart from the incident of Vinod Jain, there was no other violent incident. He supported the administration for a 5-day curfew and denial of any facilities during the periods in areas of Dashashvamedh Thana and Madanpura under Bhelupur Thana. He said that he had himself seen to the distribution of necessities like flour, onions, salt milk in Madanpura Tibhadeshwar, Rewari talab etc. According to him, this was a communal trouble and he termed the administrative steps as satisfactory. According to him, the actions of the police and the administration was not one sided. A 5-day curfew with no relaxation was a compulsion for the administration.

The legislation from city (North) Constituency, Shri Abdul Kalam said that on April 16th when the people from Tazia procession were coming back after performing the ceremonies, one ice- seller, Kishori, fell down after a bamboo hit his body. This created some tension but some people wanted to put down the Tazia by the side of the mosque. The people in the neighborhood opposed it. The police got the Tazia removed next morning there was a scuffle between some people and brothers of Kishori. One boy came with a bomb in his hand and it exploded before he could lob it at the police. He said that this is what he heard from the people and the police, but he thought that he was not carrying the bomb. It was thrown at him. He had received injuries on both arms and chest. He said that he had received information on the phone on April 17th that some incident had taken place and he conveyed the information on phone to the DIG. When he reached the spot, police was already there and its operation was on. A large police force led by SO of Adampura, the force was ransacking houses of the people. I objected to the harassment of the old and women and succeeded with great difficulty, but they continued to break down doors etc. I kept appealing to the people to maintain peace. In the meanwhile, asked me to come there. The people were demand that the SO, Adampura should be sent to the Lines that the innocent people should be let off and that a judicial inquiry be instituted into the incident. When an assurance for fulfilling was given, the people dispersed. During this, he came to know that some young man had been killed in the Madanpura are and a curfew has been imposed. Before the imposition no announcement was made. Old people who were returning after offering the Namaz were arrested. According to Shri Kalam the reason of all these incidents was political, this was no communal flare up. He emphasized that the charge on him and his party for inciting violence was unfounded and if this was proved, he was ready to be beheaded on the main intersection. He opined that the administration had acted in a biased manner. The curfew had been imposed only in the Muslim localities. The investigating team also met the people of Chandupura and Adampura who were eyewitness to the extents of April 16th or were affected by them. Mobeen, son of Hasmatullah of Chhittanpura said that on April 17th around 11.30 pm, thirteen or fourteen police people broke up the door to his house with bricks and stones and entered inside shouting obscene abuses. They beat up Abdul Salam, Abdul Zafar, and a worker with batons and took them to the police station and locked them up. Zafar is a minor about aged 16 years. They entered the Zanankhana and misbehaved with women.

Haseena Bibi, wife of Babu said that her brother Saleem was beaten up badly and was taken by the police. He was seriously injured when she and Saleem Bibi tried to stop them. They hurled obscenities at the two and snatched Rs. 500/- from Saleem. They also took away Saleem's wristwatch and belt.

Abdul Haq, son of Barkatullah, Ayesha, wife of Abdul Haq, Safiullah, son of Shamsuddin, and Nizamuddin also made similar statements of beating up and breaking of looms and destroying the sarees on the looms.

Fatheh. Mohd. Of Chhittanpura said that he was the Sarpanch. On 19th April around 11 in the morning, 10 or 12 police people broke down the door and entered. He was beaten up, his 25-year-old son, Nihalu, was taken away. His 14-year-old grandson, Nissar Ahmed was also taken away to the police station and was left off after a beating it was not known what was the reason for beating up. 12 year old Mukhtar Ahmed, son of Fateh Mohd, said that 7 or 8 police people entered his house and dragged him to the open ground and beat him up badly, he became unconscious. He was dragged by hair. The police people neither asked him anything nor said anything.

15 year old Nissar Ahmed, son of Nizamuddin said 20-22 police people came, dragged him to the open ground, slapped and beat him up with batons. His father was also beaten and dragged and taken to the police station where he was searched and then pushed out.

Sarik-ul-Nisha, wife of Shamsuddin of Chittanpura said 5-6 police people climbed to the upper story where her father in law was lying. He is very weak; they let him alone and entered to the other room. There they caught hold of her husbands elder brother, Nihabuddun and children. After beating them they went back to where her father in law was and pushed from the bed.
Abdul Kalam, Son of Abdul Salam said that around 12.30, 20-25 police persons broke up the main road of the house with rifle buts and broke up the doors of inner rooms also. They took away Gulam Munir and kept beating him outside. The son of a tenant, Haseena was also badly beaten up. They abused and misbehaved with women.

Matee-ur-Rahman, son of Hajee Maulavi Mujib-ur- Rahman of Hassanpuara said that around 11.30 in the morning 4 or 5 police people barged into the house where four people were sitting. They were armed with sticks and firearms. "My brother Zia- ur - Rahman was beaten up. I asked why was he beaten up, we were busy in our work. I was dragged into the street and was also beaten up. When my father objected, they told him to go inside otherwise he too would be beaten up".

Zainul-Abdin of Alampura said that around 10.30 about 4-5 police people and an Inspector came throwing stones and bricks. We had received information that there was some danger. The Inspector started beating on doors. "I am a member of civil defence and Fire Brigade. When I gave this information they started abusing, they did not say, what was the reason. My cousin Shakeel was standing in the door. They caught hold of him and the Inspector and constables threw him on the road and continued to beat. His wrist was fractured. In the evening, I went to Thana, to give him medicine, I was chased away. He was bandaged. He was given no treatment, nor his medical examination was done. I was told that I give shelter to goondas. He was again beaten up at night, his head was shaved". Till April 25th the date of this interview Shakeel had not been able to get bail.

Haji Vakil of Adampura said that around 11.30 in the morning armed police persons broke open the main door with rifle butts and enter the house. They broke open the door of the workshop. They also broke the looms and 4 sarees that were on the looms were torn and destroyed.

Rajesh Kumar Singh and Santhosh Kumar Singh of Chandupura said that there was brick bating from around the mosque in the morning of April 17. The police took him, along with Ramesh and one more person from the varandah of the house to Kotwali. There they were beaten mercilessly and were locked up in Adampurthana. Later the court bailed them out. They said that the shop of Shiv Prasad near Ambika Police chowki was looted by the people from minority community. Radha c/o w/o late Pouri Lal, Susheela w/o Avadesh Singh and Tara, w/o Hori Chowhan also talked about brick bating from near the mosque and mentioned injuries. When they went to the Thana and gave this information they not provided any help, but were told to go back as force had been send. They went to the Jamia Hospital on their own to get treated.

Father of Kishori Lal (ice vender) mentioned above, Panna Lal said that he supplies ice on the day of Tazia procession for water outlets. On April 16th when the Tazia procession was coming back, his son Kishori was not there. He himself was present. He had a minor exchange of words with the precisionists. There was no incident with his son because Kishori was not there. 86-year-old Khuddi son of Late Banku of the same Mohalla supported his version.
Vahid of Madanpura said that the Hindu area is up to Jangambadi. Madanpura is after Pandey Haveli. The people of Madanpura sell sarees in Kung Gali Chowk, and Golghar. Later on the saree sellers started their business in Madanpura. The people from National International market started coming to Madanpura and this affected the business in Kuj Gali, Chowk, etc. This incident aimed to give a bad name to Madanpura. Madanpura is being targeted like this for many years and a canard is being spread in Delhi, Calcutta, etc that Madanpura is being dangerous. My own children, do business and there is competition between Madanpura and Chowk, etc. It is in this back ground that it is being said that Vinod Jain, doing saree business, was killed in Madanpura.

He said that the Tazias were returning from Adampura. There was an exchange which some shopkeeper. The procession of Alam, Akhada was not taken out. I had seen that during the Namaz all the shops were opened. Nothing had happened. The police asked Rasheed Baba (who was retired from Civil Defence) to take out the procession of Alam. He refused. The procession did not start from Madanpura.

Said-ur-Rahman, post warden, Civil Defence said that on April 20 D.M. and SP came to enquire as to who were the obstructionists. There were arrests in the morning of 19th people who were standing in the masque for offering Namaz were arrested. The police removed the handles of hand pumps outside the houses in Madanpura. For 5 days during the curfew there was no water and electricity. This is false that the residents had thrown chains on electric wires. Some people caught the connection restored by private electricians. The JE had said that the transformer in Madanpura was out of order. This is false that Dada Chowdhary had got food grains distributed. Food grains were sold through Government vehicles. There were some known Muslims amongst 20 people who were arrested. These are labourers. The Muslims they were arrested they were coming out of the mosque after offering Namaz. The labourers who were arrested they were returning from MSRS Ishaq after finishing their work. The police cut telephone wires. On 19th April the members of police in PSC were shouting obscenities towards the residential buildings. The police took 5 Tullu pumps installed by the people in the lanes and 2 bicycles away. The administration had presumed that the people of Madanpura were guilty. A 5 day curfew with no redressed action was unresidented. The police had thrown stones at people who had gone to seek permission to after the Friday Namaz

Sagir Ahmad, of Madanpura said that the police entered his house after breaking down the doors. The sarees on the looms were torn 10 sarees packed in the boxes were taken away by the police persons. They hurled obscenities at women.

The scooter belonging to Mushtaq Akhram of Social reform society was badly damaged by the police. They took away by two bicycles. Tullo pumps installed by Haseena bibi and Mohammad Siddique were taken away.

Khalil Ahmed, son of Babe published said that Baba is very old and is a saree weaver. He has cateract. Some 3 months ago he had undergone NI operation at the age of 70. They are 7 brothers and 3 sisters. Rashid Bava's wife said that police came at 2 in the night and beat up children, grand children, Nazir who is Baba's younger brother and is disabled was also beaten up well into the morning. Rasheed Bava is a Khalifa of Lakri-pattii. Whatever items the police have exhibited are from the Akhara. Sticks used for training were taken away from the police stations. The house was searched. Baba was arrested on April 22nd. The Thanadar who had come with the force asked Baba to wind up the Akhara. Nazir's wife Mehr-un-nisa added that 3 women constables had entered the Zanankhana. The police was beating Baba heating on the legs and back.

Gulzar Ahmed son of Muhammad Muslim said that on the third day of the incident at 2 in the morning 20-25 police persons broke the door to the house and went up to the roof. They asked about my brother Pahalwan. I told them that he had died 8 years ago. They broke open the door to t5he other room and insulted women.

Abdul Wahid and Abdul Mohid of Madanpura said that the police beat them with the sticks on the head the legs. On any enquiries they continued to a bues to beat. They broke down the door to the house. Similarly they beat up Mohammad Javed of Madanpura and destroyed the sarees on the loom.

Gulazar Ahmad of Taartalla said that on April 19 at around 11 pm. 2 inspectors and other police persons entered his house and started beating. They took him out on the road, took of all his cloths and made him lie on a slab of ice. One Inspector put his knee on my chest and started beating me with a baton on hands and feet. They were asking him, "Who killed Vinod Jain". He told the Inspector that he had gone to see his sister. He took away Rs. 400/- from his pant pocket and he was locked up in Kodai Chowki. After one day he was taken to Sarnat and was let off on April 28. The Inspector tried to force his revolver into his hand and was telling him to run with it. When he refused to do so he was beaten again. Another aged residents of Taartalla, Kamaluddin, said that he was returning after offering Namaz. He was caught by the police and taken to Lanka police station. There they searched him and took away Rs.2600/- from his pocket.

Muhamood, age 15 years, Madanpura said that on Wednesday morning at 10.30, he was working, about 20 police persons entered the house after breaking the door. They caught hold of him and said that he owned a Katta and they asked who was the murderer. After beating him up and he was taken to Lanka police Station. They broke up the loom. There was a dark complexioned Daroga who gave him a beating. They took away Rs. 70/- from his pocket. Mohammed Mohed that the police persons took away 5 or 6 Tullu pumps from the houses of Abdul Matin, Moosa, Mahammud. The auto rickshaw of Shahnas parked in the street was also badly damaged. Nooruddin, Mohammed Hasim, etc, of Madanpura gave similar accounts of destruction and looting in their houses in
Madanpura.

The team met the father and the members of the family of late Vinod Jain. Father, Satyendra Kumar Jain, said that on that day (April 18 2000) Vinod Jain had sent off for his residence from Pashupateshwar. He said that a businessperson of Mubarakpur was with him. In the evening Vinod had phoned and said that he had collected payments of Rs. 70, 000. He did not know whether Vinod was bringing the money with him. After reaching Chowk he put the towel, water bottle, etc, in the scooter and he saw him start of for home.

He and the businessman walked up to Godaulia and hired a rickshaw from there. When they reached Susheel Cinema they saw some people running. Both of them jumped from the rickshaw and returned to Godaulia. They hired another rickshaw from the church and returned home. They had come via Laksha-kamachha. When they reached home they found that Vinod had not get come. They made enquiries on the phone from friends. Immediately after that they received a phone to reach Kabirchaura hospital.

There was no official present in the hospital. Mohan Lal Saravagi, who was there, assured as that he had been taken to the emergency room. The doctor informed that he was dead. He handed over his watch, wallet, and papers. He did not see his son. He was in the hospital till 3 in the morning. No official had come till then. He went away to the house of his relative, RK Jain who lives nearby. At 5.30 in the morning re reached the hospital again. He was told that the dead body had been taken for post mortem. He went to the Kotwali, and from they're to Chowk Thana. From there the police took him to bhu. The body was handed over to him at 11.30 in the morning bhu after post mortem. The DM, police officers Garishji, Ashok Dhaman were present there. He was told that the incident had been taken place near Chashma-fair, madanpura. On that day the police had not closed the road from Gadoulia to Madanpura. This was mistake. There was no police Bandavas. Every year this road from Gadoulia to Sonarpura traffic use to be closed from 3 pm due to Moharam procession. If it had been done this year also, he said, his son might have been saved. He thought that it was a communal incident. Vinod had in this bag a Tiffin career and keys to the shop. These were not recovered. He was wearing a topaz ring and a gold chain with a locket. These were also not return to him. The police had returned his scooter. The District magistrate got him a cheque of Rs. 2 lakhs from the hands of Shyam Deo Rai Chowdhary. He said that Vinod Jain's wife should be provided with a service according to her qualifications in some e bank or in some girl's degree college.

Important Points to be discussed:

After studying the sequence of events and talking to affected people and others, the team is of the opinion that the following points should be look into:

(1) Did the administration make precautionary arrangements on April 16 in connection with the Moharam procession?
(2) Where the events on April 16 and on following days, communal?
(3) Evaluation of the administrative and police action following the events of April 18 in the areas of 5 police stations were curfew was imposed.

The team is of the opinion that the first 2 points are a very delicate matter and are under investigation at the administrative level and therefore they are sub justice. It is of the opinion that it would be in appropriate to comment on them.
The 3rd point directly concerns Human Rights and the PUCL report is mainly centered on that.

The PUCL team has systematically toured Chhittanpura area under Adampura Thana were the deplorable chain of events started. It found that the police bandobast for the return of Tazia processions in the area where the ice-shop of Kishori is located, and where the first incident took place, was inadequate. So much so that there was no electricity in the area. Still, due to the efforts of enlightened citizens of both communities, peace was maintained. The events of April 17th, which started in the morning, are deplorable. The manner in which the Adampura Thana Chief and his police force entered the houses of people from both the communities and the manner in which the police misbehaved with children, women, and old and infirm is unprecedented. House doors were broken looms were destroyed and half made and sarees toned. The police persons barged into houses by force during the daytimem hurled obscene abuses, entered Zanankhana, and even beat up women. In this reference the incidents relating to Sardar Fathe Mohammed and his small grand son cannot be ignored. The child who was beaten by the police had become unconsciousness. Again, Muktar Ahmed, age 12 years who dragged into the open ground from his house was beaten till he became unconscious. Even women were not spared. The police inside their house beat Haseena Bibi and Nazim.

The events of the areas under Dashwashmedh and Bhelupr Thana one no less destrubing. It was necessary on the point of the administration to announce to the public through loudspeaker that curfew was being imposed. The administration did not do this and imposed the curfew unannounced. People became restricted whenever the work. Old people who had gone to the mosque of offer Namaz or where to go there were detained as soon as the came out from the mosque or the house were beaten up were unrested.

Apart from this after the curfew as imposed on April 18 police was posted in large numbers in Madanpura, jangambari, Bengalitola, rewai Talab, etc. During the period, just like the police action in Adampura, the police here also brought the doors to the houses and assaulted the inmates in such a barbaric way that it has no equal.

Police constables and officers in groups of 10 to 20 went around for 5 days breaking the doors of the houses entering and assaulting children, women, old and unfirm. They broke, the looms, and destroying and fearing the sarees that were being woven. The worst example of barbarity of the police is what they did to Gulzan, son of Farookh. The police Inspector and the constable dragged him out, beating took off all is closed on the street and made him lie on the ice slab. The Inspector put his knew on his chest and beat him with a rod. According to Gulzan the Inspector try to push his revolver into his hand telling him to run with it. It ne4eds no second-guess as to what was the intension behind it.

Not this the members of the police force enter the houses after braking the doors of Sagir Ahmed, Mustaq, Akhram, Khalin, Abdul, and looted broke the looms, tore the sarees and grossly misbehaved with everyone. During these 5 days curfew for 4 days the electric and water services in this area were published. The members of the investigating team found that the handles and hand pumps installed in the courtyards of the houses and in the street were taken away. Another attempt to deprive the people of the facility of drinking water was the Tullu pumps installed by the people were also taken away. This happened in a very large number of cases. It is clear that this thing was done deliberately to deprive the people of the basic necessities of life. To impose a curfew per 5 continuous days to paralyze water and electricity services during the period and not to make proper arrangements even for milk for the children is extremely condemnable. It is a very serious case of depriving the citizens of the country of their human right to life. By not giving any relief in curfew for 5 days in an example of extreme in sensitiveness of administration.

The investigation team found that curfew passes were not issued even to doctors, Sikhs people, ambulance, and vehicles, etc. Uttar Pradesh education bond examinations were being held during those days. It was announced that students 'Admit Cards' will be regarded as there curfew pass. In spite of this students' were harassed and had to face police brutality. In spite of showing the admit card the police in many cases made them be and the knew pass on their arms through the bended me and touch the ears.

As far as incidents of violence concerned, there is no conformation of any other conformation of any other incident in Goddlia - Madanpura apart from the condemnable killing of Vinod Jain. With regard to the killing of Vinod Jain it is not where that according to witnesses there was no police bandobast in the area at the time of the incident. Unlike previous years there was no arrangements to stop the traffic doing the Tazia position. Not only this there was no electricity in the area. Otherwise, probably the killing might not have taken place. Vinod Jain's father was not permitted to see his dead body neither at the Kapir Choura hospital nor after that and the body was handed over the next day in the afternoon after the postmortem. The pressures item of his body were not handed over to them.

His killing is an immense shock to his old mother and father, his widowed wife and small child. To token amount of Rs. 2 lakhs that has been given to the family is totally in adequate.

The PUCL team found that the people who were arrested were deliberately kept in the jail for many days and their release was delayed. The people who were detained under sections 107/116/151 of CrPC were released after many days of submitting necessary papers for release.

The PUCL team is of the opinion that whatever action the police took regarding the incidents in Chhittanpura and Madanpura is a serious violation of human rights. Not only small children, old people, and women were beaten up there looms etc., were destroyed to heart them to economically. In order to terrorized peoples doors to the houses were broken open inmates were beaten up, money was snatched and household items were destroyed. People were denied of basic amenities of life for long period. This is a burning of violation of human rights in the democratic structure of India.

The Varanasi PUCL demands that:

1. There should be a judicial enquiry into the incidents of April 16 and the following days.
2. The people whose houses and household items and looms were destroyed; the people with home police misbehaved and beat them up; children and women who were beaten and destroyed and whose privacy were violated, all should be properly compensated.
3. The widow of Vinod Jain who has killed during the violence and the family should be give and aid of atleast 10 lakhs rupees. The widow should be provided with a government job according to her qualification.
4. The people who were arrested should be properly screened and their cases should be disposed of without delay. Innocent people who were arrested should be compensated.

PUCL Varanasi express its appreciation of the people of the city who showed exemplary tolerance and helped in establishing fees. The PUCL team express its gratitude to all those citizens who cooperated with it during the investigations, specially the legislators Shri Shyam Deo Rai Choudhry and Shri Abdul Kalam, the member of the legislative council Shri Rajesh Mishra.

Gurindar Singh, President; Tanwir Ahmad Siddiqui, member; Chandramani Tripathi, member.

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