The district administration has passed an order under Section 144 of the Cr.PC, banning the entry of Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha president Vatal Nagaraj and his supporters into Thalavadi block of Erode district from February 1 to 28. Gobichettipalayam Revenue Divisional officer K. Palanisamy issued the order here on Friday.

The administration said that the order was passed to prevent any law and order problem and disruption of public peace.

During the period, Mr. Nagaraj and his supporters are also prohibited from staging any agitations or organising public meetings anywhere in the block that lies along the Karnataka border.

The Kannada organisation leader earlier announced he would stage an agitation in Thalavadi on Saturday (February 2) to protest against the Tamil Nadu government for imposing Tamil as the first language in schools in the border town. Earlier, Kannada was the first language in the area that had a large number of Kannada-speaking people.

Mr. Nagaraj had also demanded the release of some Kannada-speaking persons who were arrested during the protests, following the death of a 15-year-old school girl in an accident last month. The girl was hit by a jeep in which two parish priests were learning driving.

Police arrested 58 persons for causing damage to public property in the protest that followed.

About 30 of them were Kannada-speaking people from that area.