In a remarkable display of unity against a common threat, the treasury and Opposition benches in the Assembly on Thursday came out with unanimous condemnation of the attempt made by some persons at Chungappara in Pathanamthitta district on Monday to distribute a book containing derogatory observations about the Prophet.

Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Vijayakumar and Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy came down heavily on the attempt at creating ill-will among two religions and were united in their view that there should be stern action against all such attempts.

They were joined by Abdurahiman Randathani of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) besides P.M.A. Salam of the Indian National League (INL) who had drawn the attention of the House to the issue through a submission.

Mr. Vijayakumar, who was deputising for Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, said the government viewed the issue very seriously.

The police, he said, had arrested nearly half-a-dozen persons responsible for the distribution of the book at the venue of a pastor's funeral prayer. The police charged cases for attempted breach of communal amity against the arrested persons and was proceeding with the investigation about the author of the book and the press where it was printed, Mr. Vijayakumar said.