The police detained Vatal Nagaraj, president of the Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha, who was leading a mock funeral procession of Sambhaji Patil, MES MLA, near Bankapur on Wednesday. He was released later.

Mr. Nagaraj was leading the procession in protest against a remark made by Mr. Patil and his party colleague Arvind Patil against the Karnataka government.

Mr. Nagaraj demanded that both the MLAs be disqualified from the house.

Mr. Nagaraj had announced that he would conduct a mock funeral procession from Bangalore to Belgaum seeking action against the MLAs. On Wednesday, his team was intercepted near Bankapur. Later, an effigy was burnt to mark the funeral of the MLAs.

Senior police officials of Haveri said Mr. Nagaraj and 15 others were detained for nearly two hours.

After his remark triggered protests by pro-Kannada organisations, Mr. Sambhaji Patil had apologised to the people.

Arrest condemned

Special Correspondent writes from Belgaum

Kannada Sene convener H.P. Sridhar has condemned the arrest of K.R. Kumar, sene State president; Sa. Ra. Govindu, president, Dr. Rajkumar Abhimanigala Sangha; and N. Murthy, State president, Dalit Sangharsh Samiti.

In a press release on Wednesday, he said these people were on their way to the Suvarana Soudha in Belgaum to protest against the “anti-Karnataka” remarks of Mr. Patil.

But, the police arrested them in Hubli. Mr. Kumar said a State-wide protest would be organised against the arrests soon.

  • He was staging a protest against

    MES MLAs

  • ‘Disqualify Sambhaji Patil and

    Arvind Patil’