Mahara Prison riot: 107 inmates, 02 prison officials hospitalized in total

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A total of 109 injured persons have been hospitalized for treatment so far following the unrest at the Mahara Prison, says the Police Spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana.

Speaking to media DIG Rohana said 107 inmates and 02 prison officers are among the injured.

According to the police spokesperson, most of them had sustained minor injuries. They are currently under medical care at the ward designated for Covid-19 treatment at Ragama Hospital.

The death toll from the riot meanwhile stands at 08 with all deceased identified as inmates.

Unrest at the Mahara Prison broke out on Friday (29) when a group of inmates attempted to from prison following a conflict with prison officials.

Prison authorities had opened fire to control the situation and a team of Police Special Task Force (STF) personnel were deployed to assist prison authorities.

Subsequently, a massive fire had broken out at the prison after several inmates set fire to the health office, a storage area, and several other places within the prison.

The fire had raged on until 3.00 am yesterday (30) and was later completely extinguished with help of 06 fire trucks.

Two prison officials who were held hostage by prison inmates have been rescued. However, reports revealed that the condition of one of the prison officials is critical.

Commissioner-General of Prisons Thushara Upuldeniya said the situation was later brought under control.

Meanwhile, 26 inmates who were hospitalized admitted following the unrest have been tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday after Rapid Antigen Tests were carried out on 48.

Minister of Justice Ali Sabry has appointed a five-member committee to investigate the incident and to submit a report with recommendations.

The committee is chaired by retired High Court judge Sarojini Kusala Weerawardena and also includes Chief Legal advisor to the Ministry of Justice U. R. De Silva, Additional Secretary of the Justice Ministry Rohana Hapugaswatte, DIG Ajith Rohana and former Prisons Commissioner Gamini Jayasinghe.

Additional Secretary to the State Ministry of Prison Reforms and Prisoners’ Rehabilitation Nishan Danasinghe has been appointed as the secretary of the committee.