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Punjab Votes ’07
EC suspends observer 
Clash in Amritsar, 1 hurt
Tribune News Service

New Delhi/Amritsar, February 3
The poll observer for the Kum Kalan constituency in Ludhiana was suspended by the Election Commission tonight for “serious misconduct” of duty. Disciplinary action was ordered against the IAS official of the Jharkhand cadre.

Poll general observer Kailash Kumar Khandelwal was suspended as he visited some places in Himachal Pradesh and Ropar district in Punjab without prior permission from the EC, commission sources said.

Sources said the EC had asked the Jharkhand Chief Secretary to frame charges against Mr Khandewal and submit an action-taken report to it by February 8.

The poll observer arrived at the constituency allotted to him on January 24 and visited Chintpurni, McLeodganj, Jwalaji and Chamunda Devi, on January 28. Again on January 31, he visited Ropar, Bhakra, Nangal and Naina Devi, all in Ropar district of Punjab. The duration of the visits by the observer amounted to two calendar days within the first week of his duty, which showed lack of devotion to his duty, the EC sources said.

On Friday, the commission issued a warning to 10 candidates and political leaders, including SAD general secretary Sukhbir Singh Badal, for violation of the code of conduct.

Meanwhile, a report from Amritsar said Tejinder Singh of Chowk Parag Das area in the walled city was injured when supporters of the SAD candidate for Amritsar-South, Mr Raminder Singh Bularia, and Congress candidate, Mr Harjinder Singh Thekedar, reportedly clashed late in the evening.

Mr K. Sharma, SP, City, said Mr Tejinder Singh had a cable network business and was involved in brawls earlier too.

Mr Daljit Singh, father of the victim, said at least 12 persons came to his son’s shop and attacked him with sharp-edged weapons. They also fired in the air. 

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