For violating code of conduct during the filing of his papers

Chandigarh: The Election Commission on Thursday night issued notice to a senior Punjab Minister for allegedly violating the code of conduct during the filing of his nomination papers for the Ludhiana West Assembly constituency last week.

The Commission has asked the Education Minister Harnam Dass Johar of the ruling Congress to file his reply by February 3, official sources here said.

In its notice to Mr. Johar, the EC said that it had received a complaint and photographs allegedly showing his supporters in various vehicles like mini trucks, jeeps and cars in a procession when he went to file his nomination.

``It is also alleged that you (the Minister) had used Government Gypsies and cars during the filing of nomination papers'', the EC said, adding that it was further alleged that Mr. Johar and his supporters came to the office of the Returning Officer shouting slogans and creating a scene there.

Mr. Johar has also been charged with having got affixed posters and bills boards in various localities, including Model Town, Shastri Nagar and Rajguru Nagar in violation of the code, the sources said.

Tight security : DGP

Hoshiarpur: Tight security arrangements are being made for conducting free, fair and peaceful election in Punjab to be held on February 13, State Director General of Police R. S. Gill said on Thursday.

More than 80 per cent of the 72,000 personnel of Punjab Police force have been deputed and 200 companies of para military forces had arrived in the State for the election duty, he told reporters here.

As many as 10 segments of State Assembly had been identified as most sensitive where special security has been deployed to avert any untoward incident, he said

Special police patrolling teams have been deputed to maintain law and order during election process and to avoid repetition of violence like Monday's Beas incident in Amritsar district, in which one Akali activists was killed.

Mr. Gill asked political parties and candidates to help the police in maintaining law and order during the poll process.

To a question, he said a Special Investigation Team of police officials was conducting a thorough investigation into the Beas firing incident.

``The mob was involved during the violence and the real culprits responsible for this incident were yet to be ascertained. Firearms seized and video recordings provided to the police were being examined'', he said.