Court orders cremation of another four Mahara inmates who died during unrest

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Wattala Magistrate today (30) ordered the cremation of another four Covid-19 positive inmates who died during the recent unrest at the Mahara Prison.

The report of the experts’ committee on the post-mortems of these inmates was submitted to the Wattala Magistrate’s Court on December 23.

Director-General of Health Services meanwhile informed the magistrate that the government’s stance on cremation of the country’s Covid-19 victims remains unchanged.

A total of 11 inmates were killed in the prison riot which broke out on the 29th of November and 8 of them were posthumously tested positive for Covid-19.

The Attorney General’s Department had requested the magistrate to permit the post-mortems of the deceased inmates to be carried out under a multidisciplinary committee, as per a request made by the legal counsel of the aggravated party requested for a fair autopsy.

The nominations for the committee members, submitted by the Attorney General’s Coordination Officer State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne, were later approved by the court.

Committee consists of Chief Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) of Colombo North Teaching Hospital in Ragama Dr Sandun Wijewardena, JMO of Infectious Diseases Hospital in Mulleriyawa Dr S.D.C Perera, Chief JMO of Colombo South Teaching Hospital in Kalubowila Dr P.P. Dassanayake, Prof. Jean Perera of Faculty of Medicine at University of Colombo and Firearms Specialist & Deputy Government Analyst P.G. Madawala.

When a report on post-mortems of four inmates who died in the prison unrest was submitted to the Wattala Magistrate’s Court on the 16th of December, the magistrate ordered to cremate the bodies.