Colombo: Over 120 people were arrested by Sri Lankan police on Wednesday after violent clashes erupted between protestors and police outside a court over the alleged gang-rape and murder of a schoolgirl.

Police resorted to lobbing teargas shells to disperse violent protestors who were demanding the highest punishment to be meted out to the nine suspects who were arrested by the police over the incident, Xinhua news agency reported.

The protestors also demanded that the suspects be handed over to them. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunesekare told Xinhua that six police officers were injured in the clash.

“The inspector general of police (IGP) has ordered the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to probe this incident. The protestors are demanding grave punishment for the suspects but this will be decided when they are produced in court,” the spokesman said.

The body of the 17-year-old schoolgirl was discovered in Pungudutivu last week after the police launched a manhunt following a complaint lodged by the victim’s parents.

The girl’s parents informed the Kayts police station in the north of the island nation that their daughter did not return home from school. The police searched the residence of a youth in the area and found bloodstained clothes.

Widespread protests broke out in Jaffna on Tuesday and Wednesday with people demanding that the suspects be charged without delay. 

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