Fourteen organisers of the Rajiv Gandhi Trophy Boat Race were arrested on Saturday after they tried to conduct the boat race in defiance of the order of the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) based on the verdict of the High Court.

Pulinkunnu police made the arrests near the Pampa river at Pullikunnu, the venue for the race.

The 14, including Anil Bose, chairman of the race organising committee, were arrested for obstructing the policemen on duty and trying to conduct the race.

This is the first time in the history of the boat race, which was started 18 years ago to commemorate the visit of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to Kuttanad, that the race has not been conducted on the fixed date.

The Boat Race Club which organised the event, recently split into two groups.

One of the groups led by Alex Mathew approached the RDO to conduct the race under the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC).

The RDO issued an order stating that the race should be conducted only after re-constituting the general body. This prompted the group led by Anil Bose to approach the High Court which asked the Alappuzha RDO to take a final call on the issue. The RDO then ordered that the race should not be conducted on Saturday as announced by the group led by Mr. Bose.

However, the group led by Mr. Bose tried to conduct the race.