MES holds convention; 200 activists of Kannada out

Over 200 activists of `Karnataka Rakshana Vedike` were taken into preventive custody.

Belgaum: In the wake of protests against a conference being organised by pro-Maharashtra outfit Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti near here, more than 200 activists of `Karnataka Rakshana Vedike` were taken into preventive custody on Sunday, police said.

"We have taken more than 200 KRV activists into preventive custody to avoid any untoward incidents at `Maha Melava`, especially in the wake of violent protests carried out by Kannada outfits yesterday," Belgaum SP Sandeep Patil said.

Police personnel were deployed at Yellur village where the `Maha Melava` (conference) was held today by the MES after three years to make its presence felt in the Marathi-speaking border areas of the State, sources said.

Patil said ten persons belonging to pro-Kannada outfits were arrested for attempting to set on fire a Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation bus near Chikodi and damaging another MSRTC bus in Nipani yesterday.

At the conference, pro-Maharashtra outfits passed a resolution saying till such time the Supreme Court decides on Karnataka-Maharashtra border issue, disputed areas should be accorded the status of Union Territory.
KRV activists criticised the state government for permitting pro-Maharashtra outfits to hold the conference. They also threatened to intensify their protest if any Maharashtra leader spoke about inclusion of borders areas into the neighbouring state.