COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's Attorney General on Tuesday asked the police chief to conduct an urgent and full-fledged investigation into the violent clashes between anti- and pro-government protesters in the country that has killed at least eight people and injured over 200 others.
Violence erupted in Sri Lanka on Monday after supporters of former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa attacked peaceful anti-government protesters demanding his ouster over the country's worst economic crisis that led to acute shortages of staple food, fuel and power.
Over 200 people have also been injured in the violence in Colombo and other cities.
Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam has advised the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to conduct a full-fledged investigation into the incidents of unlawful interference into the people's constitutional rights, the circumstances that led to them; and, the consequent commission of penal offenses in the process, News First news portal reported.
In a letter to the IGP, the Attorney General said that as the incident in metropolitan Colombo triggered sporadic acts of violence of serious nature involving people and their property all over the country, he advised the police chief to further investigate the aftermath of the incidents, the report said.
He urged the IGP to complete the investigation on an urgent priority basis.
Mahinda Rajapaksa, 76, resigned as Sri Lankan Prime Minister on Monday amid unprecedented economic turmoil, hours after his supporters attacked anti-government protesters, prompting authorities to impose a nationwide curfew and deploy Army troops in the capital.
The violence saw arson attacks on the homes of several politicians, including the ancestral home of the Rajapaksas in Hambantota.
Video footage showed the entire house of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his younger brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Medamulana in Hambantota city was burning.
Prime Minister Mahinda's House in Kurunegala was also set on fire by protesters while a mob also destroyed D A Rajapaksa Memorial - constructed in the memory of the father of Mahinda and Gotabaya - in Medamulana, Hambantota.
There have been protests over soaring prices and power cuts since last month. Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from Britain in 1948.
The crisis is caused in part by a lack of foreign currency, which has meant that the country cannot afford to pay for imports of staple foods and fuel, leading to acute shortages and very high prices.