Colombo: None of the seven Indian prisoners in Sri Lanka's main Welikada jail was affected by the riot that left 27 inmates dead and nearly 50 people, including security personnel, injured, officials said on Saturday. Sarath Dissanayake, the External Affairs Ministry spokesman, said he was informed by the Ministry of Prison Reforms that prisoners of foreign nationalities had not been affected.
A total of 27 inmates were killed and nearly 50 prisoners and security personnel injured in one of the worst riots in the history of the Welikada jail. "Secretary to the Prisons Ministry assured me that no foreigner was injured," Dissanayake said.
According to jail authorities, there were around seven Indian prisoners in the Welikada jail when the riot broke out on Friday night. Apart from Indian inmates, Afghan and Pakistani prisoners were among the foreigners lodged in the crowded jail, the officials said. Sri Lankan government has confirmed the safety of the Indian prisoners with the Indian High Commission here, according to local media.
The riot started after authorities launched a search for drugs within the prison, and the inmates turned against the operatives of the police's Special Task Force (STF). Prisons Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera said in a statement said that a three-member probe committee would examine the events which led to the riot.
The situation was brought under control today after the deployment of the Army's Commando troops, officials said. Some seven inmates, who had fled the jail during the riot, have been apprehended, police said. A similar search operation in the same prison in 2010 had also ended in a riot which seriously injured nearly 50 policemen.