Sri Lankan prison riot leaves 6 inmates dead, 35 injured

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Six inmates were killed and 35 others were injured when the guards opened fire to control a riot at a prison on the outskirts of Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, said by officials on Monday. Two guards were critically injured, they said.Since the pandemic, unrest has been flourishing in Sri Lanka’s overcrowded prisons. Most inmates have staged protests in recent weeks at various prisons as the Covid cases increase in the facilities. Inmates created unrest on this Sunday at Mahara prisons, 15 Kilometers of the north of Colombo, where officials tried to control the situation.

However, the unrest turned into a prison riot, Rohana said. Where prisoners tried to take control of the prison, but hundreds attempted to escape. In the riots, most of the property plus offices inside the prison destroyed by Inmates, he said. When the guards opened fire, the clash left six inmates dead and 35 injured, he said. Two prison officers were also critically injured. An inmate was killed in last week’s unrest at another prison. Another prison died in March.

Thousands of inmates in five prisons have tested positive for the coronavirus and two died. Around 50 prisons guards have also tested positive. Sri Lankan prisoners are highly congested with more than 26,000 inmates overcrowding into facilities with a capacity of 10,000.

The inmates had been distressed because of their pleas for coronavirus testing with the infected prisoners had been ignored by officials for more than a month. Sri Lanka has reported a total number of 23,484 coronavirus cases and 116 died so far. 

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