Mahara Prison unrest: 08 inmates dead, prison officer in critical condition

Mahara Prison unrest: 08 inmates dead, prison officer in critical condition

November 30, 2020   11:23 am


Two prison officials held hostage by Mahara Prison inmates have been rescued, Commissioner General of Prisons Thushara Upuldeniya said.

Meanwhile, the death toll from the unrest incident at the Mahara Prison has climbed to 08. All deceased persons have been identified as inmates.

A tense situation had occurred at the Mahara Prison last evening (29) when a group of inmates had attempted to break out 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) officers was deployed to assist prison authorities.

According to Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana, 05 police teams led by the Kelaniya Senior Superintendant of Police (SSP) and the Ragama Superintendant of Police (SP) were also dispatched to ensure the security outside the prison.

Subsequently, a massive fire had broken out at the prison when 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 am this morning and was later completely extinguished with help of 06 fire trucks.

DIG Rohana said that the inmates involved in the riots have carried out various offenses including arson and damage for over a period of 14 hours since 5 pm yesterday.

In addition to the deaths, 43 persons have been admitted to the Ragama Hospital over injuries.

According to the Commissioner-General of Prisons, the situation at the Mahara Prison has been brought almost under control by the STF and the Prisons Department.

However, the condition of one of the prison officials who was rescued after being held hostage is critical, DIG Ajith Rohana said.

While there is a report of a prison official being assaulted, a statement has not been recorded from him yet, the Police Media Spokesman added.

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