Protesting against the Centre’s move to notify the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, several pro-Kannada leaders courted arrest here on Wednesday after holding a black flag protest in front of the Raj Bhavan without seeking police permission.

The agitation, which was led by Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha leader Vatal Nagaraj, also saw the participation of Kannada leaders such as K.R. Kumar, Ravindra Kumar Shetty, Na Gopi, Girish Gowda as well as N. Murthy from the Dalit Sangharsha Samiti. The leaders were later released.

Separately, members of the pro-Kannada outfit, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, staged a protest at the Bengaluru International Airport premises over the same issue. About 70 of them were taken into preventive custody when they were trying to enter the airport building. They were later released by evening.

Speaking to The Hindu after his release Mr. Vatal Nagaraj said, “This is a black day for Karnataka. All pro-Kannada organisations will hold a meeting on Friday and chart the next course of action.”

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