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Loss in prison riot over 10 million rupees: Sri Lanka

Last Updated: Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 22:57

Colombo: Sri Lankan prison authorities said on Sunday that the loss estimated in the damage caused to property at the main Welikada jail, after a clash between inmates and police commandos that left 27 inmates dead, was over 10 million rupees.

"This is a very early estimate of the loss", PW Kodippily the Commissioner General of Prisons said.

On Friday evening the inmates of the Welikada prison clashed with the elite police commando Special Task Force.

The STF was deployed to carry out a search for drugs and contraband.

At least 27 inmates died while 42 others were injured which included STF troops, soldiers, prison officials and inmates, in one of the worst riots in the history of the Welikada jail.

According to jail authorities, there were around seven Indian prisoners in the Welikada jail when the riot broke out on Friday night.

Apart from Indian inmates, Afghan and Pakistani prisoners were among the foreigners lodged in the crowded jail, the officials said.

Sri Lankan government had confirmed the safety of the Indian prisoners with the Indian High Commission here.

Inmates broke open the prison armoury and fired at random before being overpowered by a special commando team.

Kodippily said the bodies of the inmates who died would be handed over to relatives while one death row convict who died would be given a prison funeral.

"The prisons Act says that funerals of death row prisoners must be handled by the prison. The relatives would be invited to participate", Kodippily said.

The joint opposition who described the incident as a massacre said that they would call for an international standard impartial inquiry.

"Undoubtedly it was a massacre. This shows the breakdown of the rule of law", Mangala Samaraweera of the main opposition UNP said.


First Published: Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 22:56
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