Mahara Prison Unrest In and Out: 8 Deaths and 70+ Injuries

Riot inside the Prison

Eight inmates have been killed and 50 other inmates and two prison officials were injured following the unrest erupted at the Mahara Prison yesterday afternoon, police spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said. Hospital sources have said that nearly 71 inmates are receiving treatment at the Colombo North Teaching hospital at present.The unrest broke out Sunday (29) afternoon when a group of inmates at the Mahara Prison tried to escape from the prison after another group of inmates were found to be infected with COVID-19 coronavirus. The Prison officials were then compelled to use minimal force to control the situation, including firing several shots, the police spokesman said. A fire had erupted from the Prison premises as per some videos and pictures in Social Media yesterday.

Five Police Teams led by Kelaniya SSP and Ragama OIC and also Police Special Task Force were deployed to the assist the Prison Officers to control the situation.

Regarding the incident, State Minister of Prison Reforms and Prisoners Rehabilitation Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle said in parliament today that an independent inquiry will be conducted into the incident as well as an inquiry led by the Ministry Secretary.  She said the investigations regarding the riot in the Mahara prison will be handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to bring the truth to light. Meanwhile, IGP instructed the CID to conduct an inquiry into the Mahara Prison Riots.

Protest outside the Prison by the Relatives’ of the inmates today.

Family members of inmates at the Mahara Prison today gathered outside the prison resulting in a tense situation. Around 100 family members standing outside the prison demanded they be allowed to see their imprisoned relatives. Video footage shows the group reportedly becoming agitated as prison vehicles were seen transporting inmates from the Mahara prison.



Properties Destroyed inside Prison

Several properties of the Mahara Prison have been destroyed following the unrest that occurred last evening. Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said the prison’s registry, several prison cells, and food store were destroyed in the fire ignited by the inmates of the prison. The offices of the Prison Superintendent (SP) and Assistant Superintended (ASP) have also been destroyed in the fire. DIG Ajith Rohana further said among the two prison officials who were injured in the unrest, one officer is in critical condition.

The Police Spokesman further said prison officials will take some time to ascertain the details of 08 inmates who were killed in the unrest as the prison registry containing the details of all inmates was destroyed in the fire.



Thanks:, News19 & Swarnavahini

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