Indian children wear masks as they take part in a protest against air pollution: the city’s air quality index is  15 times over the permissible limit prescribed by the World Health Organisation. Photograph: EPA/Rajat Gupta

Schools closed and people advised against moving around

A beggar on the side of the road in Hyderabad, India. A senior police official said beggars would be “housed” in structures adjacent to the city jail where they were being provided with food and medical assistance. Photograph:  Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images

6,000 people in Hyderabad to be put in special facility before arrival of Trump daughter

Indian schoolchildren cover their faces as they walk to school amid heavy smog in New Delhi on November 8th, 2017. Doctors are warning of a public health emergency. Photograph: Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty

Toxic Delhi air 16 times above permissible limits leaves millions gasping

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi pays tribute on the 148th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth , on October 2nd, 2017, at Rajghat in New Delhi. Photograph: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images

Right-wing Modern India body claims second gunman involved in New Delhi 1948 killing

Opposition members said the state government was “wilfully discriminating” against more than 200 million Muslims. Photograph: iStock

The Hindu ruling party in Uttar Pradesh has been playing down India’s Muslim past

The mother of a stampede victim sits beside her son’s body as it is transported from a hospital in Mumbai, India, on Friday. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

Incident took place during heavy rain as commuters feared colonial-era bridge would collapse

Members of the National Human Rights and Crime Control Organisation hold candles along with photographs of Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh during a  vigil in Amritsar, India. Photograph: Raminder Pal Singh/EPA

Authorities clash over the killing of government critic Gauri Lankesh in Bangalore

Bottles of whiskey and vodka on the shelves of a liquor store in Chandigarh, Punjab, India. Photograph:  Sanjit Das/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Authorities in Chandigarh attempt to highlight ‘ill-effects of alcohol consumption’

Relatives of Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh grieve by her body at the Ravindra Kalakshetra cultural centre in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Photograph: Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images

Gauri Lankesh (55) was critic of federal government, caste system and Hindu nationalists

Indian spiritual guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in October 2016. A judge on Monday sentenced him to 10 years in prison on charges of raping two female followers.  Photograph: Tsering Topgyal/AP

Security measures deter protesters after dozens died in violence following verdict

A follower of Indian religious leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh pleads for his safety after being hit with a stick during clashes between the controversial guru’s followers and security forces in Panchkula on Friday. Photograph: Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images

Self-styled spiritual leader Ram Rahim Singh found guilty of raping two female followers

The Hindu nationalist government has enforced the law protecting cows since assuming office in May 2014. Above, villagers in Assam state, India. Photograph: EPA/STR

As 39 military farms close, there is a quandary over what to do with the sacred cattle

Israeli security forces spray foul-smelling Skunk towards Palestinian stone throwers. Photograph: Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP/Getty Images

‘Indians probably have a high threshold of enduring stench,’ said an Indian police officer

India’s new president, Ram Nath Kovind, inspecting a guard of honour during a ceremony at the presidential palace in New Delhi on Tuesday.  Photograph: Prakash Singh/Getty Images/AFP

Former lawyer is second ‘low caste’ Dalit to assume country’s highest public office

Ram Nath Kovind: presidential candidate is an associate of the National Volunteer Corps, a Hindu group accused of stoking religious hatred against Muslims. Photograph: Tsering Topgyal/AP

Two-candidate contest likely to be won by ‘low-caste’ Ram Nath Kovind (72)

Stray cattle   in front of the state legislature of Karnataka in Bengaluru, India, on July 4th. Photograph: Jagadeesh NV/EPA

Maharashtra to deploy a new kit that can test if a meat sample contains the sacred animal

A supporter of India’s ruling BJP holds a placard during a rally to support implementation of the goods and services tax in Mumbai on Friday. Photograph: Shailesh Andrade/Reuters

Move incorporates more than a dozen state and federal levies into one tax

Bollywood actor Shabana Azmi holds a placard  during a protest in Mumbai on Wednesday against a spate of violent attacks across the country. Photograph: Rafiq Maqbool/AP

‘Not in my Name’ demonstrations called after attacks on Muslims and ‘low caste’ people

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi engaged in a mass yoga session to mark International Yoga Day:  has promised to repeal 10 obsolete laws for every new one passed. Photograph: Sanjay Kanojia AFP/Getty Images

Anachronistic laws including jail terms for refusing to fight locusts in Delhi to be ditched

“War by sporting means”: cricket fans gather around the vehicle carrying the Pakistan  captain, Sarfraz Ahmed, through Karachi after his team’s surprise victory over India. Photograph: Rizwan Tabassum/AFP/Getty

Indian police arrested 19 Muslims for celebrating Pakistan’s Champions Trophy win

Danielle McLaughlin was murdered in Goa in March.

Authorities confident about securing conviction against sole suspect in killing

Protesters run as they prepare to hurl stones towards the Indian police during a protest after Friday prayers, in Srinagar. Photograph: Danish Ismail/Reuters

Security officials warn of increased violence as gangs target military encampments

Applicants for a street sweepers’ job in Chandigarh will have to undergo a “sweeping trial” for 10 minutes to assess their broom-wielding skills. Photograph: iStock

Street cleaners’ job in northern India attracts 70 applicants for every vacancy

Danielle McLaughlin (28) was raped and killed in Goa on the west coast of India on March 13th.

Family of Donegal woman, who was raped and killed in Goa, seeking camera footage

A man walks past a roadside liquor store located along a highway at dusk in Gurgaon, Haryana.  Photograph: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg via Getty

Forced closure of bar and alcohol shops near highways leaves 1.5 million jobless

Undated family handout photo of Danielle McLaughlin, who was discovered dead in Cancona, a popular tourist area in the south of Goa, last week. File photograph: Family handout/PA Wire

Remains in process of handover to friends and officials from Irish Embassy, say police

Yogi Adityanath (centre), head of India’s nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),   is offered sweets after his election  as chief minister of  Uttar Pradesh. He was hand-picked by India’s prime minister Narendra Modi. Photograph: Pawan Kumar/Reuters

Yogi Adityanath accused of attempted murder and inciting violence against Muslims

Agra, home of  the Taj Mahal, is among the cities highlighted  in the India travel advice section, where the Department of Foreign Affairs warns that women have been the victims of sexual assault. Photograph: Jayanta Shaw/Reuters

Average of 92 women raped every day, with tourists told to avoid skirts and walking alone

Police are investigating the murder of Danielle  McLaughlin in Goa, India.

Buncrana woman (28) discovered dead in Goa was travelling in India using a British passport

A Sadhu or Hindu holy man with his face covered with ash puts a wallet decorated with a print of the scrapped Indian 1,000-rupee note in a plastic cover  in Kolkata, India, January 5th, 2017. Photograph: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

Amount of illegal currency deposited believed to be far higher than government estimates

 Prime minister Narendra Modi’s   ban on high-value currency notes  was intended to combat corruption. Photograph: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Circulating currency cut by 86%, with catastrophic effect on tourism and cash dependent businesses

Indian people line up to change old Indian rupee notes outside  banks and ATMs in New Delhi. Photograph: Rajat Gupta/EPA

Several states set to impose weekly cash limits equivalent to €689 on Indian missions

People line up at a bank in New Delhi on Friday  to change old Indian rupee notes. Photograph: Rajat Gupta/EPA

High-value notes withdrawn last month in bid to counter tax evasion and money laundering

Men scuffle as people gather outside a bank to deposit and exchange demonetised 500- and 1000-rupee notes in Rohtak, India, on Friday. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Opposition parties claim dozens have died in mayhem that followed demonetisation move

Indians line up outside a bank to deposit and exchange discontinued 500-rupee and 1,000-rupee notes in New Delhi. Photograph: Altaf Qadri/AP

Prime minister Narendra Modi accused of overturning lives with anti-corruption measure

Indian police officers appeal for calm as people stand in a queue to exchange 500 rupee  and 1000 rupee notes for newer denominations at a post office in Ahmedabad on Thursday. Photograph: Sam Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images

Millions queue to replace high denomination notes following their withdrawal on Tuesday

  India’s top court has given the federal government two days to come up with a  plan to tackle alarming levels of smog in New Delhi, the world’s most polluted capital. Photograph: Getty Images

City streets shrouded in thick haze of smoke, ash and other pollutants

  Indian border  guards  carry the remains  of their colleague during  a  ceremony   in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir: Nobody has claimed responsibility for an attack that left one guard dead and another wounded, but Indian security sources believe the armed militants came from Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Photograph: Farooq Khan/EPA

Latest in series of incursions blamed on Pakistan, raising tensions in Islamabad

Indian paramilitary soldiers patrol in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir, on Thursday. Photograph: Farooq Khan/EPA

Cross-border operation – denied by Pakistan – ratchets up tensions between neighbours

A French Rafale fighter jet performing in the southern Indian city of Bangalore in 2011. Photograph: Jagadeesh NV/EPA

Dassault Rafale fighters a boost for Indian air force but will heighten tension in region

Acid attack survivor Reshma Banoo Qureshi  walks the runway at New York Fashion Week last Friday. “I want to tell the world, do not see us in a weak light,” she said afterwards.  Photograph: Trevor Collens/AFP/Getty Images

Appearance by Reshma Banoo Qureshi in New York highlights acid’s easy availability

Visitors at the Taj Mahal: India’s cultural and tourism minister has sparked a controversy by saying foreign women visiting India should avoid wearing skimpy clothing. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

‘Women foreign visitors should not wear short dresses,’ warns Mahesh Sharma

  Indian surrogate mothers protest   in the campus of  Kaival Hospital in Anand, 90 kms from Ahmedabad: India’s government  has approved plans to ban the booming commercial surrogacy industry, a move that would block thousands of foreigner, single parents and gay couples who come to  to centres to have a baby.  Photograph: Sam Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images

Mixed reaction to draft law that restricts surrogacy to married infertile couples

 People fly kites from the roof of their housesto mark India’s Independence Day in New Delhi. Kite flying is a favoured sport across the country. Photograph: K Asif/India Today Group/Getty Images

New Delhi government bans use of string coated with glass and metal after deaths

Kashmiri Muslims shout pro-freedom slogans during the funeral of four civilians at Aaripanthan village on Tuesday. The four were killed after Indian police and paramilitary forces opened fire on protesters early in the morning, locals said. Photograph: Farooq Khan/EPA

Sixty-four people have now been killed by security forces during 39 days of protest

Kashmiri Muslim protesters throw stones at Indian police and paramilitary soldiers during clashes in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir. Photograph: Farpooq Khan/EPA

At least 46 have died and 2,000 civilians and 1,600 security forces personnel injured in rioting in the principality

Children celebrating a festival of happiness and togetherness, in Indore, India. Photograph:  Arun Mondhe/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Madhya Pradesh initiative to include yoga and meditation in bid to ‘augment serenity’

Former  homes of squatters burn following clashes with police  during an eviction at the Jawahar Bagh park in Mathura, India: some 400 arrests were made during the incident. Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Eviction of thousands in Mathura ends in bloodshed as trespassers open fire on police

Russell Crowe at the Global Slavery Index launch at the Shard in London. Millions were “trapped in a cycle of despair and degradation with neither choice nor hope”, the actor said. Photograph: Lauren Hurley/PA

World’s largest number of bonded labourers, sex workers and child soldiers

Indian fishermen along with their fishing boats on the banks of the Bratmaputra river in Guwahati, Assam, India – the Indian government has decided to divert water with river interlinking plans. Photograph: EPA/STR

Proposal to divert Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers opposed by environmentalists

A farmer stands in his dried up cotton field in Nalgonda, in the southern Indian state of Telangana. Photograph: Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images

Judges urge ‘ostrich-like’ authorities to set up disaster fund to relieve 330 million affected

Chief minister J Jayalalithaa is popularly known as “Amma” – or Mother in Tamil – appears to have bettered offers by the opposition Dravidian Progress Federation Party (DMK), which promises free tablets and laptop computers

Free mobile phones, mopeds, gold chains pledged in exchange for return to power

  The Kohinoor diamond, which once belonged to Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan, weighs 105.6 carats and is part of the British crown jewels, stored in the tower of London. Photograph:  AFP/Getty Images

Solicitor general surprises many by saying India should forgo claim for jewel from UK

Schoolchildren pray for the victims of the fire in the Hindu Puttingal temple in Kollam district, India, at their  school in Agartala. Photograph: Jayanta Dey/Reuters

Indian police raid illegal firecracker factories in region after 116 killed in festival tragedy

An injured man after an explosion and fire at the Puttingal temple in the Kollam district of the southern Indian state of Kerala on Sunday. Photograph: Getty/AFP

Fire and explosion at Kerala temple on last day of festival injure hundreds more

The authorities in India’s Bihar state have advanced the alcohol ban deadline by six months to Tuesday this week, claiming that now was “the right time for social change in Bihar”. Photograph: David Jones/PA Wire

Critics of Nitish Kumar move say state will lose €582m in tax revenue due to prohibition

A Kashmiri woman greets new chief minister Mehbooba Mufti (right) after she took an oath during the swearing-in ceremony at Governor House in Jammu, the winter capital of Kashmir, India, on Monday. Photograph: Jaipal Singh/EPA

Mehbooba Mufti (56) faces hugely complex security and political situation in region

Rescuers searching for survivors after an avalanche on Siachen Glacier in India’s Himalayan Kashmir region. Ten soldiers were buried when an avalanche hit their outpost on February 3rd. Photograph:  EPA/Indian defence ministry

Bodies of nine others recovered on treacherous Siachen Glacier in disputed Kashmir

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi and home minister Rajnath Singh stand before a casket containing the body of chief minister of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, at Palam Airport in New Delhi, on Thursday. Photograph: EPA/Indian Press Information Bureau

Lawyer to take over as chief minister after incumbent Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s death

People hold candles to portraits of Indian security personnel who lost their lives in the militant attack at Pathankot airbase at the weekend. Photograph: Sanjeev Gupta/EPA

Talks scheduled for 15th January under consideration after Pathankot airbase attack

Seven Indian security personnel were  killed in an attack by suspected Islamist militants on  Pathankot airforce base, which began early yesterday. Four militants were also killed. Photograph: Nunarinder Nanu/AFP/Getty

At least two militants believed to be at large on vast facility adjoining Pakistani border

A traffic policeman during the first day of the new scheme for vehicles in New Delhi. Photograph: Harish Tyagi/EPA

Toxic fumes hang over the Indian capital during winter months, affecting visibility

Police detain demonstrators during a protest against the release of a juvenile rape convict, in New Delhi. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Man who took part in fatal gang-rape provided with new identity

Commuters in their vehicles clog the roads of New Delhi: the court barred diesel trucks older than 10 years from entering the gridlocked capital. Photograph:  Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images

Supreme court’s temporary ban an attempt to clean up air in world’s most polluted city

Carrying children and possessions through flood waters in Chennai, India, on Thursday. Photograph: STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Thousands of people in the port city are marooned due to incessant rain since Monday

Sikh devotees taking part in a ritual procession. The distinctive turbaned community have occupied senior jobs in India since independence in 1947. Photograph: AFP Photo

Lawyer says thousands of websites feature jokes portraying Sikh community as ‘stupid’

South Africa’s foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and her Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj in  New Delhi. Photograph: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images

Delegates from almost all 54 African states assemble in New Delhi for four-day summit

India’s prime minister  Narendra Modi plans to clothe  African leaders in traditional Indian attire. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Move will portray ‘the solidarity and traditional partnerships’ India has with Africa

Vehicles on the western express highway in Mumbai. Transport experts in India said that until road building agencies were held accountable for maintenance and prosecuted for negligence, the menace of potholes would continue. Photograph:  Divyakant Solanki/EPA

Poor road maintenance due to corruption blamed for potholes, some metres deep

American transport planes, Douglas Dakota DC3’s, during the second World War,  July 19th, 1944. File photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images

Officials give permission for mission to disputed territory where 416 airmen died

Indian artist Raj Saini puts the finishing touches to a painting  of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. Photograph: Sanjeev Gupta/EPA

Prime minister Narendra Modi’s trip is the first of its kind in more than half a century

Smoke billows from a mortar shell allegedly fired by  Indian Army  across  Line of Control in Pakistani administered Kashmir on  August 18th. Photograph: Amiruddin Mughal/EPA

The nuclear-armed neighbours have been to war three times since 1947

Police and members of the rescue operation stand at the site of a train derailment near Harda, Madhya Pradesh. Photograph: Reuters

More than 300 rescued but passengers may still be trapped in wake of bridge incident

Commuters stand at an open doorway of a suburban train during the morning rush hour in  India. Photograph: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

Advertising agencies have signed up to write promotional songs and jingles for campaign

Fishermen in rural Assam where witch-hunting is prevalent, not only among the state’s largely superstitious and underdeveloped tribal communities and its tea plantation workers, but also in several other regions. Photograph: Biju Boro/AFP/Getty

Villagers in rural areas accused of casting spells are being punished and exploited

Activists   protest against the death sentence of Yakub Memon, who was convicted for his involvement in 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, in New Delhi, India.  Rajat Gupta/EPA

India’s supreme court rejects last minute plea over attacks that left 257 dead

A man carries a newborn baby as he walks  with his family after police said they were evacuated from a hospital near the site of a gunfight in Dinanagar town in the Gurdaspur district of Punjab, India, on Monday. Photograph: Munish Sharma/Reuters

Seven locals among the dead in shootout between security forces and militants

During the 1980s any man caught drinking by the tough female brigades would be stripped, tied on top of a donkey and paraded through the streets with a blackened face. Photograph: Getty Images

Fearsome bands of women enforced prohibition for decades before end of alcohol ban

An Indian customs commissioner said an  Irish citizen who landed from Dubai on an Emirates Airlines flight allegedly had gold bars hidden in his waistcoat, jacket and trouser pockets. File photograph: Getty Images

Man who flew from Dubai allegedly had gold bars hidden in waistcoat, jacket and trousers

Veerappan moustache wax has triggered an online protest petition which demands that the global cosmetics company rename its  product. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Cosmetics company launches wax product based on Veerappan’s notorious whiskers

A man wraps plastic around the body of Lata Jadhav, 35, who died after consuming the bootleg liquor at a slum in Mumbai. Photograph: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

45 still in hospital after drinking illegal alcohol laced with Methanol

Young Indian yoga enthusiasts take part in heavy rain in a yoga rehearsal camp for International Yoga Day at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. Photograph: Rajat Gupta/EPA

Avid practitioner of discipline to run event in New Delhi for United Nations Yoga Day

An Indian shopkeeper removes packets of Nestle Maggi instant noodles from the shelves in his shop in Siliguri. Nestle India is to destroy about 27,000 tonnes of the noodles, worth €44.4 million, following a sales ban imposed by India’s food safety regulator. Photograph: Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images

Tests in several provinces revealed the noodle packets contained more than the permissible quantities of lead

Officials privately indicated that the move to promote the Asiatic lion as the national animal was prompted more by politics than by considerations of either conservation or national pride. Photograph: Indranil MukherJee/AFP/Getty Images

Conservationists oppose dethroning the tiger, which has held this status for 43 years

In April 2014  India’s supreme court legally recognised transgender as a third gender and granted equal rights to those who identified themselves as neither male nor female. Photograph: Virendra Singh Gosain/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Despite advances, India’s transgender people remain widely vilified, mocked and feared

Indian children cool themselves off in New Delhi today. At least 800 people have died in a heatwave that has swept across India, melting roads in New Delhi as temperatures neared 50 degrees . Photograph: Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images

Labourers, beggars and homeless make up majority of victims

Relatives pay homage to the body of Aruna Shanbaug before the cremation ceremony in Mumbai.  The 67-year-old was fed through her nose twice a day for 42 years. Photograph: Divyakant solanki/EPA

Brutal attack in 1973 left Mumbai woman in vegetative state for decades

Home minister Rajnath Singh (above) objected to an interview in BBC documentary  “India’s Daughter”. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

10-year jail term for eating beef in growing list of religious motivated bans

A Nepalese earthquake survivor queues with his parent during a food distribution at a refugee camp in Bhaktapur, Nepal, yesterday.   Photograph: Mast Irham/EPA

Behind the supply of much-needed help lurk complex geopolitical goals

Security personnel stop Indian National Congress Party workers who were trying to jump over the barricades during a protest in New Delhi yesterday against the death of a 14-year-old girl in the  Moga district of Punjab. Photograph: Rajat Gupta/EPA

Politicians seek resignation of chief minister of Punjab whose son owns bus company

Supporters of Aam Aadmi (Common Man) Party  watch as others try to rescue a farmer who hung himself a rally against the government’s Land Acquisition Bill  in New Delhi. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

More than 300,000 Indian farmers have died by suicide since 1995

Indian soldiers pose as Indian artillery gunners of the first World War, in New Delhi. Photograph: Rajat Gupta/ EPA

A century on, the first ever official commemorations of conflict take place

Very important person: India’s former prime minister Manmohan Singh Photograph: Raveeendran/AFP/Getty Images

Anger approaches outrage as whims of power elite become increasingly offensive

Nuns hold vigils to condemn the gang-rape of an elderly nun in Ranaghat, India, on March 14th, allegedly by Hindu extremists. Photograph: Rajat Gupta/EPA

Prime minister Narendra Modi has been slow to condemn attacks by fanatical Hindus

India’s former prime minister Manmohan Singh has been summoned by an Indian court  over allegations of corruption and wrongdoing in the allotment of coal mining licences during his government’s decade-long tenure. Photograph: Raveendran/AFP/Getty Images

Manmohan Singh accused of wrongdoing in the allotment of coal mining licences

The lynching took place days after prime minister Narendra Modi’s administration banned a BBC documentary about a high-profile rape

Police said more than 4,000 people overpowered guards at the Dimapur jail

Leslee Udwin, director of the documentary ‘India’s Daughter’, during a press conference with her co-producer, Indian TV journalist Dibang,in New Delhi on Tuesday. One of the men convicted of the gang-rape and murder of an Indian student that shocked the world has said he blames the victim for resisting the attack. Photograph: Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

‘India’s Daughter’ features interview with man involved in fatal gang rape of student

Indian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rajendra Pachauri, who resigned this week as chairman of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change after being accused of accused of sexually harassing a female employee at his Delhi-based think tank. Photograph: Martial Trezzini/EPA

Rajendra Pachauri faces charge of sexually harrassing female employee at Delhi office

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi at the start of a crucial parliament budget session. Mr Modi is due to present his first federal budget amid growing disenchantment with his government. Photograph: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images

Narendra Modi’s government due to present budget amid rising levels of disenchantment

Supporters of the Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man’s Party, celebrate their party’s victory in New Delhi, India, yesterday. Photograph: AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal

Common Man’s Party promises to end endemic corruption at all levels of government

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