Nine prisoners who died at Mahara had Covid – officials

ECONOMYNEXT- Nine out the 11 prison inmates who died during the Mahara prison riots have tested positive for COVID-19 following the post-mortem examination, National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 said.

The riot that took place on Sunday (Nov 29) have injured 117 injured with 38 of them have been tested positive for COVID-19.

Commissioner General of Prison Thushara Upuldeniya said today that the Prison Department will take legal action against 25 identified prison inmates involved in the Mahara prison riots, while the authorities are identifying other inmates responsible.

He said that the security at the prison complex was ensured by yesterday and 2500 inmates are currently detained at the Mahara Prison.

Yesterday, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the government takes full responsibility for the violence that erupted at the Mahara prison on Sunday (Nov 29).

The minister told reporters at the weekly cabinet press briefing yesterday that the inmates could’ve been under the influence of some unnamed psychotropic pills. Various measures taken by intelligence operatives and prison officials to prevent drugs from getting inside the prison appear to have been circumvented, he said.

Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana told reporters yesterday that some 21,000 pills were stored at the Mahara prison’s infirmary, adding that police will investigate why such a large number of pills were ordered. Rohana claimed that the pill in question is used by heroin addicts as an alternative drug. (Colombo/Dec02/2020)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe

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