10 Nov 2012

All Indian prisoners in riot hit Sri Lankan prison safe

Colombo:(Newsonair)-All the 39 Indian prisoners are safe in the riot hit Welikada prison in Sri Lanka. Indian officials will be given access to them after situation stabilizes. The death toll in Friday night's prison riots has risen to 27 with the recovery of 11 more bodies. The toll may rise further as the condition of 5 continues to be critical.The army search operation in the prison continues as a number of weapons and convicts are still to be accounted for.
The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka has requested early access to the 39 Indian inmates at the Welikada prison. Indian High Commissioner Ashok Kantha discussed the situation with Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksha and senior minister K Amunugama. The high Commissioner confirmed that all the 39 Indian prisoners - 34 sentenced and 5 under-trials brought from Jaffna this week - are safe. 
Sri Lanka’s Prison reforms Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera told parliament that separate enquiries by the CID and the Army have been ordered, and the reports are expected by Monday. According to an informed sources, role of prison staff in stacking huge amounts of illegal arms and drugs cannot be ruled out. Police spokesperson Prasantha says, security forces are searching for the 6 unrecovered guns and several escaped prisoners.
AIR Correspondent reports from Colombo that it was one of the worst prison riots in Sri Lanka in recent years. A large number of anxious relatives of prisoners have rushed to the jail, but since the physical verification of the prisoners and identification of the dead is still to be done, no clear information is available to them. It may take a while before full information on all the 4500 inmates is given out. 

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