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Fear of contracting COVID-19 led to Lanka prison riot: Probe panel

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The committee noticed that the inmates had violently concerned in fisticuffs amongst them by utilizing knives, golf equipment and swords.

A Sri Lankan probe panel investigating the final month’s prison riot by which 11 inmates had been killed has concluded that the prisoners staged the protest in concern of contracting the lethal coronavirus, an official stated on Saturday.

The five-member probe committee’s interim report stated that the riot on the Mahara prison on November 29 and 30 was attributable to the protest staged to obtain a fast resolution to the COVID-19 problem.

Also learn: Following lethal riot, highlight on Sri Lanka’s prison circumstances

Eleven inmates had been killed within the protest. The authorities appointed the probe panel after stress from the Opposition and the victims’ relations.

“What was a protest had later developed into a major riot,” the committee stated, including that the divisions amongst inmates had additionally aggravated the conflict due to deep operating private hatred as they belonged to totally different cliques and legal gangs.

Also learn: Sri Lankan authorities panel to query inmates in prison riot probe

The committee noticed that the inmates had violently concerned in fisticuffs amongst them by utilizing knives, golf equipment and swords discovered from throughout the prison premises. But none of the inmates had entry to any hearth arms.

“Only the prison officials had guns and they used them,” the probe committee stated.

Also learn: Coronavirus | Police shoot useless inmate amid riot in virus-hit Sri Lanka prison

As water provide traces had been broken, a requirement by the inmates for water led the prison officers to open hearth at them, in accordance to the report.

“Post mortems reports would reveal if the inmates had been shot dead,” it stated.

The inmates knew that a big quantity of COVID-19 sufferers had been within the prison, the report stated, including that they had been justified in urging the authorities to guarantee their well being and welfare.

The 5 member panel was headed by a retired decide.

The panel’s discovering of prison officers utilizing weapons to quell the riot stands in sharp distinction to the Prison Minister’s assertion in Parliament final week the place he stated that not a single shot was fired within the Mahara prison in the course of the riot.

The authorities maintained that inmates had turned violent by the extreme use of a medicinal drug and a few unscrupulous parts had been behind the riots. 

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