Police have begun arresting abode-seekers involved in clashes outside the Central Government Offices in June, with at least two mainlanders so far detained for illegal assembly. A spokeswoman for right-of-abode claimants accused police of timing the arrests - which come amid strong public sentiment against Wednesday's arson attack at Immigration Tower - to tarnish their image. Eighteen of the 50 people injured in the arson attack remained in hospital last night. Seven were in a critical condition, including two immigration officers. The injuries occurred at about 6pm when paint thinner was splashed around a 13th-floor reception room and set alight as more than 20 immigration officers were preparing to clear protesting abode-seekers. The 8,000-strong Right Of Abode Committee is calling on members to adopt a peaceful approach during protests. A spokesman, Wong Shui-ying, said they wanted to call a meeting of 200 group leaders to ask them to pass on the message. 'The arson attack has had a serious backlash for us, leaving us looked down on by many people. We want to urge the others to wait for the courts' final ruling,' Ms Wong said. She said abode-seekers were being targeted by the police in the wake of the fire after two claimants, aged 26 and 29, were arrested on Thursday for illegal assembly at the Central Government Offices on June 26. Clashes erupted at the gathering, and 12 demonstrators were injured when police used pepper spray on protesters, who in turn said officers had assaulted them. The pair were taken from their homes to a police station on Thursday evening but were later released on $500 bail each. Police said that their investigations were continuing. A third abode claimant, Chan Fong-kwai, 20, who was involved in the June 26 protest, said police had looked for him at his home on Thursday night while he was out. Mr Chan said he would co-operate with police, who told him he would be contacted again, but added that he suspected the latest action was because of public sentiment against abode claimants. Ms Wong said: 'I cannot guess what the real intention is of the police. But the timing of the arrest seems to suggest they want to tarnish our image. Any such move will stir up people's emotion.' Yuen Hoi-yan, a member of the standing committee of the Hong Kong Federation of Students and who took part in the protest, said he also doubted the motives of the police. A police spokesman said officers made the arrests after investigation had given them sufficient grounds to do so. The violence on June 26 was the second major clash between right-of-abode claimants and police outside the Central Government Offices. A riot broke out on December 3 last year when some of the hundreds of protesters fought police with rocks, bamboo sticks and flowerpots.