The city police are maintaining a tight vigil in the Poonthura, Edayar, Thiruvallam areas where persons belonging to two communities clashed on Friday night. Police officials said talks were held between the communities and situation was easing back to control and normality.

Three persons were arrested, produced before court, and remanded in judicial custody on Saturday in connection with Friday night’s attack on four houses on the Edayar islet. The police said they were verifying whether the burning of a boat and other fishing apparatus in Poonthura early on Saturday was connected to the clashes. There were reports that the boat belonged to a person from another community, the police said. Details were being verified.

Tension prevailed in the region throughout the day and police pickets were posted in the clash-prone areas.

VS calls for peace

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan said there should be just and timely intervention from the police to ease the tension in the region and to prevent further outbreak of violence.

The failure of the police in taking prompt and impartial action during times of similar unrest in the region had triggered the latest incident of violence on the coast, he said.

Demanding that the government give compensation to those who had suffered losses in the clashes, Mr. Achuthanandan said all communities should stand together to restore peace on the coast.

BJP boycotts talks

Earlier in the day, representatives of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) boycotted the meeting convened by the District Collector to foster peace between the clashing communities. A statement quoted BJP district president S. Suresh as accusing Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor, Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar, and V. Sivankutty, MLA, of trying to protect the culprits. There was a conspiracy to force the residents of Edayar to move out of the islet, he alleged, demanding that a sea wall and a permanent police aid post be urgently set up in the region.