3 arrested for setting Lanka PM’s home on fire sent to 10-day custody

The three suspects arrested for setting Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Ranil Wickremesinghe’s home on fire have been sent to 10- day custody by the Fort (Colombo) Magistrate’s Court.

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on Sunday took over the probe into the arson attack at PM’s private residence, hours after the police arrested three people for causing extensive destruction to property.

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As protests over the government’s failure to save the country’s economy intensified on Saturday, a group of irate protesters entered Wickremesinghe’s home at Cambridge Place and set it ablaze, inflicting extensive damage to the property and damaging a luxury sedan.

A video released by the Daily Mirror newspaper on Twitter showed grim visuals of the charred residence and a damaged sedan. Paintings and other artworks were strewn across the house and the compound.

Among those arrested include a 19-year-old Mount Lavinia resident and two residents of Galle, aged 24 and 28 respectively, web portal Colombo Page reported, quoting the Police Spokesman SSP Nihal Talduwa.

More arrests are expected, police said.

Also read: Sri Lanka economic crisis: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa flees as protesters storm residence

Talduwa said the suspects are currently in the custody of Colpetty Police, and will be produced in court later on Sunday, web portal Lanka First reported.

The investigation into the incident has been handed over to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), police said.

The residence was replete with a rare collection of books and old Buddha statues, most of which Wickremesinghe had inherited, the Colombo Page report said, quoting a spokesperson of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Army personnel managed to recover some books from the residence, an official told Daily Mirror newspaper.

Wickremesinghe and his spouse Professor Maithrie Wickremesinghe stayed in this residence, the report said.

The incident came hours after Wickremesinghe offered to resign to make way for an all-party government.

Embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has also offered to resign on July 13.

Hours before his decision, a huge mob broke the police cordon and entered the Presidential House.

(With PTI inputs)

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