Shravan Shuklapaksha 3, Kaliyug Varsha 5115
Representation submitted to Shri. Manoj Gohad, Dy. District Collector, Thane, MH
Thane (MH) : Demonstrations and agitations are staged all over the country to express anger when scam in management of Sri Vitthal Rukmini temple by the committee appointed by the Government was exposed. Also, land belonging to ISKCON Temple in Bhagyanagar should not be taken over for Metro railway project. Representation with the above demands was submitted by Hindu Janajagruti Samiti to Shri. Manoj Gohad, the Dy. District Collector of Thane.
In the year 1985, the State Government took over management of Sri Vitthal -Rukmini Temple at Sri-Kshetra Pandharpur under ‘Temples Act, 1973’ by making accusations of misappropriation of funds and corruption. Now, Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad has brought to light huge misappropriation of funds of ‘Deva-sthan’ by the committee appointed by the Government to manage this temple. The information in this regard was obtained under RTI Act. The Government should therefore, take a serious note of the same. Also, the Government is granting its silent approval for taking over land of ISKCON in Bhagyanagar for its Metro railway project without considering sentiments of Hindus. Temples have lot of importance in Hindu Dharma. In the year 2008 also, such attempt was made to take over the land belonging to the said temple. It has been stated in the representation that legal protection should be given to the land of temple and even in future, land take-over should be avoided.
Many devout Hindus, Shri. Nandkishore Thakur, Pratap Pundit, Mr. and Mrs. Malkar, Sou. Vaishali Samant, Kum. Pushpa Sawant, Kum. Deepali Kadam and Smt. Suhasini Donde of HJS were present when the representation was submitted.
Source : Dainik Sanatan Prabhat
Recent Updates –
- More than 400 devout Hindus protest against multi-crore Pandharpur Temple Scam (July 27, 2013)
- Scam exposed by Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad to resonate in Legislative Council ! ( July 19, 2013 )
- Pandharpur Vitthal Mandir Muti-Crore Scam : CM instructs to probe ( July 18, 2013 )
- Corruption worth crores from Vitthal Mandir, Pandharpur by Govt appointed committee uncovered (July 16, 2013 )
- Misuse of Land donated to Shri Vitthal Mandir at Pandharpur ! (March 26, 2013 )
July 27, 2013
Pro-Hindu organizations and Warakaris stage demonstrations at Azad Maidan, Mumbai
Mumbai: The Government took over management of Pandharpur’s ‘Sri Vitthal Rakhumai Deva-sthan’ and has misappropriated funds; therefore, inquiry should be conducted immediately by setting up a committee led by a retired Judge, its accounts should be got verified from Auditor General; besides, the anti-Dharma Bill drafted by atheists without taking Warakaris and pro-Hindu organizations into confidence, should be cancelled permanently. The above demands were made by pro-Hindu organizations and Warakari Sampradaya during intense demonstrations held at Azad Maidan on 26th July. More than 400 devout Hindus took part in the demonstrations although they had to stand in rains for 4 hours. (Such Hindus are real strength of Hindu Dharma – Editor) It was a successful agitation.
Dignitaries participating in demonstrations
H.B.P. Bapu Maharaj Raokar, the Regional President of Rashtreeya Warakari Sena for Konkan, H.B.P. Bhagavan Vitthal Kokare Maharaj, the District- President of Maharashtra Warakari Mahamandal for Ratnagiri, Shri. Durgesh Parulkar of Hindu Mahasabha, Dr. Vijay Jangam (Swamy) the Chief Executive and spokesperson of ‘All-India Veer-Shaiva Lingayat Mahasangh’, its Vice President, Shri. Chandrakant Swamy, Shri. Makarand Tatakare of ‘Patanjali Yoga Samiti’, Panvel, Shri. Dilip Ghag of ‘Sree Sampradaya’, Shri. Motilal Jain representing Jain community, advocate Veerendra Ichalkaranjikar of Hindu Vidhidnya Parishada, Shri. Prashant Bade of Hindu Rashtra Sena, Shri. Shivaji Vatkar, the District Coordinator of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti for Mumbai, Thane and Raigad, Shri. Sunil Mangale of Meenakshi Computer Classes, Shri. Prasad Vadake of HJS, Sou. Nayana Bhagat of Sanatan Sanstha, Shri. Navnath Patil and many devout Hindus
1] Dr. Rohidas Waghmare of leather workers’ union provided snacks to the participating demonstrators for free.  At 1.00 p.m., there was lot of crowd at Azad Maidan and there were 7-8 demonstrations going on; but as it started raining, the demonstrators dispersed; however, the demonstrations of pro-Hindu organizations and Warakaris continued so also speeches and raising slogans by Leather Workers’ Union.  Number of women taking part in the agitation was large.
Bill won’t be passed without taking Warakaris into confidence ! – Minister for Social Justice
‘The Chief Minister has stated that anti-superstitions Bill would not be passed without taking Warakaris and devotees into confidence. A meeting would be held soon to find solution to objections raised against the proposed Act for which 3 members of each organization would be invited. Matter related to fraud in managing Sri Vitthal –Rukmini Devasthan funds will be followed up with the Chief Minister for further course of action’, were the promises given to delegation of HJS by Minister for Social Justice, Shivajirao Moghe.
Source : Dainik Sanatan Prabhat
July 20, 2013
Issue of malpractices by Sri Vitthal – Rukmini Temple
Mumbai – Offerings made by way of money by devotees at Sri Vitthal- Rukmini Temple, Pandharpur, have been misappropriated by the Temple Committee. In this connection, on 18th July, Shri. Vinod Tawade, the leader of Opposition in Legislative Council brought adjournment motion under clause 289. Dy. Chief Minister attending the session showed readiness on behalf of the Government for holding discussions on the issue. The Chairman of the House, Shivajirao Deshmukh, gave a decision that detailed discussions would be held in the next week on the issue for 3 hours.
Opposition leader, Shri. Vinod Tawade said….
1] Accusations made against the Temple Committee when Ashadhi Ekadashi is just round the corner, are of serious nature.
2] Out of the total land of 1220 acres held by the ‘Dev-sthana’, more than 500 acres of land has been donated by devotees to Dev-sthana’ as donation. The Committee has no record of how it is being utilised.
3] Lot of discrepancies were observed in the accounts maintained by Dev-sthana since 2002; but those have been deliberately overlooked.
4] There are no numbers on donation books.
5] The cash collected by way of donations is stored in sacks instead of depositing in the bank.
6] Earlier, when demand was made for widening of roads en route ‘waari’, the Government departments had shaken off the responsibility; now who will take the responsibility of malpractices observed in Sri Vitthal – Rukmini Temple management?
State Govt. will investigate all charges leveled against the Committee ! – Ajit Pawar
Dy. CM, Ajit Pawar said, “The President of this Temple Committee, Anna Dange was earlier working with opposition; therefore, these charges must have been leveled by them out of spite. ( Malpractices of Sri Vitthal- Rukmini Temple Committee have been brought to light by ‘Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad’ and not by any political party by using its right under RTI. Even then, the Dy. CM is trying to play politics in this context. When the Dy CM is such, will there be impartial inquiry held in connection with the said malpractices? The Opposition should now insist for inquiry by high level investigating agencies. – Editor, Dainik Sanatan Prabhat ) The Government will minutely investigate the matter and as decided, discussion could be held during next week when the Government would be ready to give answers.
Source : Dainik Sanatan Prabhat
July 18, 2013
CM instructs District Collector to conduct inquiry !
Mumbai – ‘Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad’ exposed scam at Sri Vitthal – Rukmini Temple in Pandharpur. In this connection, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) submitted a representation to Opposition leader, Shri. Eknath Khadase and others dignitaries. Shri. Khadase, Shri. Ashish Jaiswal of Shiv Sena and Shri. Nitin Sardesai of MNS etc. met the Chief Minister (CM) along with the representation. Shri. Khadase said to the CM that he should submit relevant information in the Legislative Assembly before ‘waari’. CM Chavan said that he had received information about the same and in the morning, he had already instructed District Collector of Sholapur to make inquiry in the matter. (Hindus should realize that it was possible only due to the divine foundation Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad has ! Now follow up this issue with the CM till guilty are punished ! – Editor, Dainik Sanatan Prabhat)
Before the CM gave directions for conducting inquiry, Shri. Shivaji Vatkar, Mumbai District-coordinator of HJS and Shri. Anand Jakhotia met BJP leaders. Shri. Eknath Khadase, Opposition leader in Legislative Assembly said on being told about the malpractices in temple that ‘Ashadhi’ ‘waari’ was going on. The malpractices of Sri Vitthal – Rukmini Mandir Committee exposed by Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad is a very sensitive matter considering the sentiments of Warakaris towards Sri Vitthal. Immediate inquiry should be conducted about these malpractices and action should be taken. The CM will be taken to task in the Legislative Assembly as to why changes in balance sheet as suggested by the Auditor were adopted. Shri. Khadase promptly put up the matter with the Chief Minister.
Mandir Committee’s President Anna Dange unaware about accusations despite its publicity all over the State !
If President of Mandir Committee is so indifferent towards malpractices in temple, who will look after interest of devotees?
Mumbai : Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad held a press conference on 15th July and exposed malpractices taking place in management of Sri Vitthal – Rukmini Temple of Pandharpur. The matter was publicized all over the State. Many news channels took notice of the same; but even after 24 hours from holding of press conference, Mandir Committee’s President and senior leader Annasaheb Dange has shown ignorance towards the issue. On contacting him, he said that he had gone to Tavandi village. Whatever facilities are available even at Andaman, are not available in his village. (This shows impudence of Dange ! – Editor, Dainik Sanatan Prabhat); therefore, he was not aware of the accusations. He said that he had just returned to Pandharpur. He also claimed that if Vasant Patil of Mandir Committee had given any explanation, he was not aware of even that. He was not associated with it. (If President of Sri Vitthal- Rukmini Mandir Committee is so indifferent towards corruption charges, scams are bound to take place! This also shows that rulers appoint only such persons as Presidents who don’t even bother to collect information about accusations leveled against them. Considering the experience of Dange in politics, can one believe that he could be so ignorant about the charges of corruption against him? When ‘waari’ has reached Sholapur district, such persons are working as President of Mandir Committee; but are they fit to hold such posts? Warakaris should take Dange to task wherever they meet him and ask him about malpractices in temple management ! – Editor, Dainik Sanatan Prabhat)
Source : Dainik Sanatan Prabhat
July 16, 2013
Impose severe punishment on corrupt individuals; liberate Pandharpur temple from Government control ! – Varakari organisations & Hindu Janajagruti Samiti
Mumbai : It has come to light that the Government appointed Committee of Shri Vitthal Rukmini Temple at Pandharpur, which is a Deity of worship for entire Maharashtra has indulged in a huge misappropriation of funds while managing the wealth of the temple during last few years. Hindu Lawyers Forum, which is striving for securing just rights of Hindus has collected hundreds of papers as a proof of corruption by the Committee with the use of Right To Information (RTI) Act. It is pertinent to note that all these papers are based on the audit reports submitted by the Temple Committee itself. These papers expose the corruption concerned with hundreds of acres temple land, funds collected as donations worth crores of rupees, ornaments costing lakhs of rupees, wealth of cow-lineage etc. Similarly, there are serious anomalies in the financial working of the temple funds. (The statement narrating the details of this misappropriation is enclosed herewith.) In this matter of corruption, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti has decided to undertake agitations all over the State to press for stringent action against corrupt persons and liberating Pandharpur temple from the clutches of the Government. Varakari organisations and other organisations having similar objectives should participate in these agitations being conducted at various places. Such an appeal was made today by Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and Varakari organisation. On this occasion, Shri. Shivaji Vatkar, Coordinator of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti for Mumbai, H.B.P. Bapu Maharaj Raokar of Rashtriya Varakari Sena, Adv. Sanjeev Punalekar, national secretary of Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad and Shri. Uday Dhuri of Mandir Mahasangh were present.
From Left : Dr. Uday Dhuri, H. B. P. Bapu Maharaj Raokar, Adv. Sanjeev Punalekar, Shri. Shivaji Vatkar
Take stringent action against corrupt individuals ! Otherwise, will knock on judicial doors !
Government should appoint a judicial inquiry commission to enquire in details into the misappropriation indulged by the Temple Committee, in the funds of Shri Vitthal temple at Pandharpur and lodge criminal cases against the guilty persons responsible for corruption in temple scam by arresting them as soon as possible. The properties of the guilty office bearers of the Temple Committee and its employees should be confiscated, and the amount involved in the scam should be recovered by disposing the above properties. If the Government does not take any cognizance of the matter, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti has made preparations to fight in the court of law through the medium of Hindu Lawyers Forum.
Corruption increased due to take over of the temple by the Government; corruption also has the blessings State Government !
Maharashtra Government has taken over Shri Vitthal temple in Pandharpur, in the year 1985 in order to provide better amenities to the devotees and established a Committee for management of the temple by appointing trustees, office bearers, managers, employees etc. on this committee. The misappropriation in the temple started increasing only after the formation of this Committee, and the corruption reached extremely high proportion during last few years. It is pertinent to note that this corruption by the Temple Committee was regularly being noticed by the Government through Annual accounts statement; however, by neglecting this scam, the State Government provided protection to the corrupt persons and committed a breach of trust of the public. The objective of the Government in appointing a single auditor from Pandharpur itself for carrying out audit of temple accounts for last 10 years is definitely not above suspicion. Varakari sect and faithful devotees of Deity Vitthal will punish the rulers for committing sin of robbing the wealth of Deity Vitthal.
Hand over Shri Vitthal temple at Pandharpur to Varakaris immediately !
All the temples taken over by the Maharashtra Government belong to Hindus only. When Bharatiya democracy is run through secular principles, taking over only Hindu temples is an exercise in trampling the secular principles. Therefore, the Government should immediately dissolve the Government appointed Temple Committee of Shri Vitthal temple and hand over the temple to Varakaris, who are devotees of Deity Vitthal ! Congress Government takes only Hindu’s temples and does not touch religious places such as Churches, Masjids belonging to other sects. In order to convey such a partial treatment of the Government to Hindus at the lowest level and create awareness in Hindus, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti will educate the people.
Details of corruption from Vitthal Mandir, Pandharpur by Govt appointed committee
Shri Vitthal Rukmini Temple at Pandharpur, a Deity of worship for entire Maharashtra, was taken over by the Government in the year 1985 vide ‘The Pandharpur Temples Act, 1973’ under the pretext of mismanagement and corruption by the then management of the temple. However it was noticed, that over the last decade the Government appointed committee itself indulged in financial mismanagement of temple funds on a large scale. Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad, which is striving for securing just rights of Hindus, used the Right to Information Act (RTI) to collect hundreds of papers as a proof of corruption by the Committee. As a result, we are demanding, through this memorandum, that the Government should take serious cognizance of mismanagement by ‘Shri Vitthal Rukmini Temple Committee’. (Note: Selected papers indicating misappropriation are enclosed below for your kind information.)
Examples of corrupt practices of the Temple Committee !
1. No records are maintained with respect to account and receipt books.
2. Serious objections raised by the auditors in the audit report are being blatantly overlooked.
3. The Temple Committee has conveniently avoided the common practice of having entries made by one employee, cross checked by another. As a result, ‘Internal Audit’ to check the above system was not at all carried out.
4. Lakhs of rupees are spent every year for maintenance of cattle (belonging to the temple); however, the account related to wealth of cattle and income generated from cattle is missing. Only receipts of sale of cattle are recorded.
5. The expenditure over 48 lakhs (FOR WHAT?) was not at all audited by the auditor.
6. The electricity bill for the tenants of the temple from the year 2007 to 2010 is paid by the temple itself.
7. Signatures of the cashier, accountant or concerned responsible officers on the important documents such as, notebooks, vouchers for expenditure of lakhs of rupees are missing; such mistakes are observed in many instances.
8. The articles donated by the devotees are directly put to use. No checks are carried out as to what happens to such articles in the future.
9. There is no record with the Committee in respect of articles received from donations or purchased. Therefore, such transactions are not reflected in the balance sheet.
10. No acknowledgements are obtained from employees as a proof of salary payments.
11. Since the year 2004, Committee has advanced unnecessary amounts to the employees. Therefore, the auditor has raised an audit paragraph ‘The advances paid to the employees should be immediately recovered, and no advances should be paid to them’.
12. The auditor has raised the objection that the Committee has incurred investment during the year 2001 to 2005 over the aims and objectives, which were not under the purview of the Committee.
Sin committed by Temple Committee : Financial scams !
1. Embezzlement in donation receipts ! : The receipts used for collection of donations received daily at ‘Donation Counter’ do not bear serial numbers. Similarly, the receipt books are not used sequentially. As a result, the Government Committee has raised the remark ‘No exact details of daily receipts are available with the Temple Committee’. This will give the idea of the extent of corruption.
2. Embezzlement in weighing the ornaments : Though it is a binding to get the gold and silver ornaments (donated by the devotees to the temple) evaluated by the official Valuer, Temple Committee has not followed the system. Similarly, the list of articles collected by the temple during the year 2000-2001 does not mention the cost of 1450 mg. of gold. Many such records are not noticed by the auditor nor any cognizance is taken by the Government.
3. Negligence shown towards the hundreds of acres of land belonging to the temple and the income which could have been generated through it ! : As per the land records, the temple has about 1220 acres of land in its possession; however, this land is neither under the control of the Government, nor in the name of the temple. What happened to this land? Considering the monetary value of 1220 acres of land, the Temple Committee has not taken any action except performing clerical routine work, to take the land in possession, renting this land for tilling, or recovering rent of land given on hire for tilling. As a result, the temple has lost income worth lakhs of rupees.
Great sin committed by temple committee in selling temple cattle !
Since the nourishment of cattle is religiously important, it is binding on the Temple Committee from the religious viewpoint to nourish the cattle in the cow-shed of the temple without the expectations of deriving any profit; however, the Temple Committee has sold the cattle for Rs.1,43,000/- between 2000 and 2010. News items have appeared that some of the cattle have been sold to the butchers, and complaints have also been lodged accordingly against such practices.
Treachery of Temple Committee towards Deity Vitthal !
1. Donation from donation boxes (Hundipeti) kept in the gunny bags instead of a bank ! : The amount donated by the devotees unto Holy feet of Deity Vitthal with total devotion needs to be counted every day and deposited in the bank. In December 2011 and January 2012, no time was spared to count the amount collected in donation box, and hence, it was stored in gunny bags. The amount misappropriated from this collection is beyond surmise. As per the procedure, it is necessary to open the donation box in the presence of everyone, and deposit the collected amount in the bank after conducting its panchnama.
Even during the audit, the objections were raised by the auditor over serious anomalies such as not conducting Panchnamas of donation box amount appropriately and absence of signatures of the concerned individuals on the panchanamas.
2. Loss to the extent of lakhs of rupees towards rent of ‘Bhakt Nivas’ (Lodge for devotees) not being accrued as per expectations ! : Temple Committee has taken on rent a building from Maharashtra Tourist Development Corporation (MTDC) at the rate of rupees 8 lakhs per year; however, since the building is not being utilised properly as expected, temple had to incur losses amounting to Rs.47,97,716/- between 2000 and 2010. On one hand, Varakaris and devotees do not find accommodation for lodging, and on the other, Temple Committee lets the rooms of ‘Bhakt Nivas’ remain vacant. This issue is unpardonable.
Serious anomalies in the audit of Temple Committee
1. No audit was conducted for the accounts department of Temple Committee from the year 2010 and also no firm action was taken by the Government regarding this lapse of duty.
2. Even after the orders were issued by the Government, the Temple Committee failed to submit ‘Action taken report’ over the anomalies found in the audit.
3. Though it is compulsory to transfer Government employees every 3 years, the Government auditor of the Temple Committee has been retained for last 10 years and he belongs to Pandharpur only.
Why are the Temple Committee and Government inactive towards lack of facilities in pilgrim centre Pandharpur ?
1. No ban is still imposed on the sale of alcohol and non-vegetarian food in Pandharpur.
2. Just demands to provide various facilities such as toilets, clean drinking water, broad roads etc. in Pandharpur and on the path of Vari for the convenience of Varakaris remained unfulfilled till today.
3. No efforts are taken to maintain hygienic conditions in the Vitthal temple and its surroundings.
4. Government has not taken any steps to prevent discharge of drainage water and polluted water from industries in the river Chandrabhaga, and to prevent the water from stagnating. As a result, it has become almost impossible to have a holy bathe in the river.
5. Maharashtra Government allots land and finances to build ‘Haj House’; however, it does not make efforts to build ‘Varakari Bhavan’ at Pandharpur and rest houses on the paths of Vari.
On the whole, Maharashtra Government is also equally responsible for the mismanagement and corrupt practices of ‘Shri Vitthal Rukmini Temple Committee’ because the Law and Justice Department of the Government, which is responsible for controlling the Temple Committee never made any suggestions to the Committee nor called for the Annual accounts statements of the Committee for examination ! Therefore, the Government should prove its noble intentions by applying same rules to the Temple Committee, which were earlier being applied in case of the devotee run Temple Management Committee (now defunct).
In order to conduct detailed inquiry into the mismanagement of the Temple Committee, the Government should appoint a judicial enquiry commission and immediately file criminal cases against individuals responsible for embezzlement of temple funds. Properties of the guilty office bearers of the Temple committee and temple employees should be attached, and the entire amount of scam should be recovered by disposing the said property. The management of the temple should be handed over to the devotees of Deity Vitthal. We are demanding, through this memorandum, that these steps be taken. If immediate action on these demands is not taken, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti will be constrained to resolve seeking justice through legal and fierce public-agitations.
Documents indicating misappropriation
Downloads (All information is in Marathi language. Only Audit Report is in English)
March 26, 2013
Adverse effects of ‘Governmentalization’ of temples !
Darvha (Dist. Yeotmal, Maharashtra) : It has now been exposed that many acres of land from Talegaon Shendra (Bu.) in Darvha Taluka, Yeotmal District donated to Shri Vitthal-Rukmini Mandir has been grabbed by ‘Vahivatdar’. Shri. Bheemrao Rathod, a devout Hindu has exposed it through the information received under RTI. (As Hindu temples have been ‘governmentalized (taken over by the Govt.)’, the corrupt rulers are now grabbing even land belonging to temples. There is no alternative to establishment of ‘Hindu Rashtra’ if the situation has to be changed ! – Editor, Dainik Sanatan Prabhat)
This misuse of land has enraged Warakaris. This misuse was brought to light in November 2012; but the President of Shri Vitthal-Rakhumai Mandir Samiti from Pandharpur is yet to clarify the position. Shri. Sandip Bajoria, MLA from Yeotmal is going to raise this matter during State Assembly’s present budgetary session.
When a representative of ‘Dainik Sanatan Prabhat’ contacted social activists and Shri. Rathod, a devout Hindu, in this connection, they expressed following views –
- Despite following up with the President of Pandharpur Mandir Samiti, there was no response from him.
- Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) had staged agitation against the Mandir Samiti for selling cows to butchers.
- It is said that Mandir Samiti is also hand in gloves in the misuse of land.
Shri Vitthal-Rukmini are worshipped by whole of Maharashtra; misuse of land belonging to ‘Dev-sthan’ is a condemnable incident and it is a big attack on Dharma.
If Pandharpur Devsthan applies, names of families from the donated land will be removed ! : Balasaheb Thorat
Mumbai : Out of the land donated to Shri Vitthal-Rukmini Mandir Dev-sthan, Pandharpur, 5 acres land at Bhulai, 32 acres land at Shendri and 12 acres land at Talegaon i.e. total 49 acres of land is owned by individuals. On 5 acres of land at Mauje Bhulai, is still in the names of some families. If the Dev-sthan Samiti makes a request, the names of families will be removed and the land can be transferred in the name of ‘Dev-sthan’. The above assurance was given by Revenue Minister, Balasaheb Thorat while answering ‘starred’ questions. MLA, Shri. Sandip Bijoria had asked in his ‘starred’ question that ‘how many hectares of land were given as donation to Shri Vitthal-Rukmini Mandir, Pandharpur ? Have local ‘Vahivatdar’ grabbed the land at Mauje Bhulai, taluka Darvha, Dist. Yeotmal ? What action has been taken ?’ While answering his questions, Revenue Minister Thorat gave the above assurance.
Source : Dainik Sanatan Prabhat
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